Black Lives Matter By Will saltzman

Recently there have been protests in cities such as New York, Chicago, and Dallas. These protests have been named as ‘Black Lives Matter’. The point of these protests, is to increase public awareness of the discrimination that African-Americans face. The protests are especially aimed at recognizing the brutality towards blacks, as a result of the recent killings of unarmed black men by police officers. Sound familiar? These kind of protests have been seen before, but in the civil rights era. For example, Martin Luther King Jr. famously stated “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character” (M. Luther King). Although blacks’ rights have come along far since the civil rights movement, unfortunately, blacks are not treated in the same way as whites even to this day. This can be changed, because as the late Nelson Mandela said “No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin… if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love” (N. Mandela). From this speech, we can infer that you are not born to hate. But ignorance can lead to hate and that is why our society is the way it is. Obviously, this is a civil rights issue because it involves the unjust treatment of African-Americans.

The Statue of Liberty, a symbol of freedom and prosperity

Another event that this issue relates to, is even further in the past than the civil rights era. This relates to the founding fathers and their creation of the Constitution. In the Constitution, it is stated that “All men are created equal”(US Constitution). Surely if all men are created equal, does that not include African-Americans too? In addition, the Constitution states that everyone has the right to “Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of happiness”(US Constitution). The discrimination towards blacks obviously is an obstacle in their pursuit of happiness.

Police officer is seen wearing protective clothing

Another thing that relates to the civil rights era, is the racial profiling by police officers. Police have long held the reputation of racially profiling blacks, treating them differently to whites. In fact, in an article by The Huffington Post, the author states “police have long been accused of targeting black americans through racial profiling”(Boboltz, Sara., 16 quotes to remind America that Black Lives Matter). This shows how discrimination has caused untrust between black communities and police officers. According to the NYPD, 50% of crime suspects are black, even though whites significantly outnumber blacks (NYPD). This is a shocking statistic of how blacks are discriminated against and accused of crimes more often, just because of the color of their skin. Just like the civil rights era, people are still being treated based on the color of their skin.

Police look upon a Black Lives Matter protest

The best and most effective way to cause change in attitudes, is by participating in Black Lives Matter protests. Just because your ethnicity may not be African-American, does not mean that you should back down from attending these protests. If you want change then go out there, protest, and make your voice heard! Protests help people to recognize the racism in the US. For example, the march on Chicago last year included over 10,000 people!(March on Chicago). Be proactive, and protest for what is right. The people’s “right to assemble” and “freedom of speech”(US Constitution) was created by the founding fathers for a reason, so that every citizen can use their voice and make a difference. This civil rights issue is far from over, and needs to be resolved as soon as possible.

Black Lives Matter Protest

Works Cited

"Adolescent Crime Decreasing in New York City?" Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology (1931-1951) 32.4 (1941): 448-49. Web.

Boboltz, Sara. "16 Quotes To Remind America That Black Lives Matter." The Huffington Post. TheHuffingtonPost.com, 12 Dec. 2014. Web. 21 Mar. 2017. <http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/12/12/black-lives-matter-quotes_n_6277412.html>.

"Discrimination Sayings and Discrimination Quotes | Wise Old Sayings." Discrimination Sayings and Discrimination Quotes | Wise Old Sayings. N.p., 2000. Web. 20 Mar. 2017. <http://www.wiseoldsayings.com/discrimination-quotes/>.

Iaccino, Ludovica. "Anti-Racism Day: Top 10 Quotes of Martin Luther King, Malcolm X, Bob Marley and Harper Lee." International Business Times UK. N.p., 21 Mar. 2014. Web. 20 Mar. 2017. <http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/anti-racism-day-top-10-quotes-martin-luther-king-malcolm-x-bob-marley-harper-lee-1441319>.

Credits:

Created with images by Fibonacci Blue - "Black Lives Matter protest march" • Unsplash - "statue of liberty landmark new york city" • G20Voice - "Police" • danxoneil - "Protest, Chicago, December 2015" • seikoesquepayne - "Black Lives Matter"

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