What does “Black Lives Matter” mean?

eric-garner-i-cant-breathe-protests black_lives_matter

Over the past few weeks I have heard non-blacks say “All Lives Matter” which comes from the “Black Lives Matter” movement which was started after the murder of Trayvon Martin in 2012. “Black Lives Matter” is used to express the frustration of African-American men and women being killed by the police and vigilantes. African-Americans are not given the same rights and dignity as White Americans. Every 28 hours an African-American man, woman, or child is killed by a police officer or vigilante. Over 1 million African-Americans are in jail in this country. African-Americans have the highest poverty rates in the United States at almost 28%. The median income for White Americans is $58,000 a year compared to the median income for African-Americans which is $34,500 a year. African-Americans unemployment is over 10% compared to White Americans at 4.6%.

Racism and hate are increasing on a daily basis towards African-Americans. There has been many murders across the nation and African-Americans are feeling like their cry’s are not being heard. I am tired of turning on my TV and seeing another African-American murdered by the hands of a police officer or vigilante. “Black Lives Matter” is an important movement that is also trying to stop the “Black on Black” crime in the African-American communities. The movement is trying to encourage African-Americans to value their lives, love themselves, and increase a sense of pride.

We know that “All Lives Matter” in this world because we are all human but there seems to a pattern of killing African-Americans with no regard to our lives. The only way that “All Lives Matter” in this country is by treating everyone the same, respecting African-Americans and treat us like first class citizens versus second class citizens, providing equal pay, stop discrimination in renting and home buying, and penalize law enforcement officers if they break the law by violating the rights of innocent African-Americans. I should not have to worry about being harassed or killed by the police if I am pulled over for a traffic violation like Sandra Bland in Texas on Thursday, July 16, 2015 and who ended up dead in her jail cell on Monday, July 20, 2015. I shouldn’t have to raise my daughter to fear the police because she may get beaten or killed. I shouldn’t have to worry that if I drive a nice car that the police will pull me over and harass me because they think I stole the car. Over the years, I have seen White Americans be rude and disrespectful towards law enforcement and never received the harsh treatment that African-American men and women receive.

White Americans look at the “Black Lives Matter” movement as racist, wrong, and non-American because they never had to wake up and think about how their skin color will impact their day. White Americans never had to worry about being pulled over for having the wrong skin color. White Americans never had to question if their skin color played a part in not getting a home loan or renting an apartment. When everyone is treated equal than we can say “All Lives Matter”, period! Until that happens I will keep saying, “Black Lives Matter!”

One thought on “What does “Black Lives Matter” mean?

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