Black Lives Matter: Police Brutality

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In the last few years one of the most prominent topics in the news has been police brutality. Unfortunately, a direct result of this brutality is the killings of many innocent black people. Through this, organizations like Black Lives Matter have been created to help bring attention to this topic. Black Lives Matter is an important movement for the black community because it forces us to examine institutional racism, police brutality, the deaths of innocent black people, and general racism more closely in a society that overwhelmingly and misguidedly believes that racism ended in the 1960’s.
Let’s talk about institutionalized racism. Institutionalized racism affects people of color in every facet of their lives. Black people specifically are
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Other cases of abuse by police officers are evident in illegal and inappropriate roadside searches on black citizens, (Balko).
Now, for Black Lives Matter as an organization. It was started after the death of Trayvon Martin in 2012. “#BlackLivesMatter is a call to action and a response to the virulent anti-Black racism that permeates our society. Black Lives Matter is a unique contribution that goes beyond extrajudicial killings of Black people by police and vigilantes,” according to the Black Lives Matter website. They want to bring black women, queer women, transgendered women, and otherwise disregarded members of the black community to the forefront of the movement.
The best way to define what an organization does is often by letting the organization themselves do so. According to the BLM website, they summarize what they do as, “Black Lives Matter affirms the lives of Black queer and trans folks, disabled folks, black-undocumented folks, folks with records, women and all Black lives along the gender spectrum. It centers those that have been marginalized within Black liberation movements. It is a tactic to (re)build the Black liberation movement,” (Garza). It is important because it is fighting for lives that have been systematically destroyed for
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They say, “The idea that black-on-black crime is not a significant political conversation among black people is patently false.” However, they are adamant that the “focus on black-on-black crime is a diversionary tactic, whose goal is to suggest that black people don’t have the right to be outraged about police violence in vulnerable black communities, because those communities have a crime problem.” The movement maintains that black people are not more violent or more prone to violence than any other race, but that due to varying social indicators that result from institutionalized racism like black people being “disproportionately poorer, more likely to be targeted by police and arrested, and more likely to attend poor or failing schools,” black folks are at greater risk for being either a victim or perpetrator of violent crime. They want to fight to change the system, not to demonize people,

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