Black Lives Matter
HOW #BLM CHANGED THE GAME: This is an informational bulletin that can be used in clubs, classrooms, meetings, shared with friends and family, or just simply for your own education. There are sections on: definitions, videos, statistics, articles, resources and questions to think about. We hope that this information is useful for your community.
What is #BlackLivesMatter?
The #BlackLivesMatter campaign is a primarily American movement that started after the acquittal of George Zimmerman after the Trayvon Martin shooting and received fresh energy following the shooting of unarmed Michael Brown by a police officer. The movement has received worldwide media attention and has been receiving major popularity after cases such as Walter Scott, Tamir Rice, and Freddie Gray caused international outrage. The movement has generated controversy by calling police power into question as well as bringing up the conversation of racism in the United States again.
DEFINITIONS TO CONSIDER
Prejudice: A judgment or belief that is formed on insufficient grounds before facts are known or in disregard of facts that contradict it. Prejudices are learned and can be unlearned.
Discrimination: The unequal allocation of goods, resources, and services, and the limitation of access to full participation in society based on individual membership in a particular social group; reinforced by law, policy, and cultural norms that allow for differential treatment on the basis of identity.
Social Power: Access to resources that enhance one’s chances of getting what one needs in order to lead a comfortable, productive and safe life.
Oppression: When an agent group, whether knowingly or unknowingly, abuses a target group. This pervasive system is rooted historically and maintained through individual and institutional/ systematic discrimination, personal bias, bigotry, and social prejudice, resulting in a condition of privilege for the agent group at the expense of the target group.
Racial Profiling: refers to the discriminatory practice by law enforcement officials of targeting individuals for suspicion of crime based on the individual’s race, ethnicity and/or national origin.
Reverse Racism: Doesn’t exist. Racial Discrimination however can happen to any racial group. Reverse racism is sometimes categorized as “racism” against members of a dominant or majority group – White people in the United States. However, since White people hold systematic and historical power in the United States, they cannot experience racism. They can experience Racial Discrimination, which is just as hurtful and damaging on a personal level, but is not backed by systems and laws.
Organization for group campaigns: For a campaign like #BlackLivesMatter, you must make sure that Black people are organizers of the campaign and represented instead of someone who isn’t Black because they don’t have the full experience of what a Black person goes through. That doesn’t mean other races can’t participate but it does mean that they should be an ally to support, not to lead.
Below are videos of Black boys and men that have been murdered by the Police. These videos are an active part of the #BlackLivesMatter campaign.
An incident involving unlawful denial of medical attention to a spinal injury and wrongful stopping of Freddie Gray by police. He died from his injuries a week later. This sparked the Baltimore riots.
QUESTIONS TO PONDER
- What are some ways I could contribute to this campaign?
- What type of training do police officers receive? What type of training should they be getting?What ways do I hold racial stereotypes in my life? How might that affect how I interact with people of different races?
- What ways do I hold racial stereotypes in my life? How might that affect how I interact with people of different races?
Schauer, Pete. Police Training and Excessive Force. Greenhaven Publishing, 2018.
Photo credit: https://blacklivesmatter.com