OPINION: Why The #BLM Movement Should Be Embraced

Photo Credit: commons.wikipeida.org

Photo Credit: commons.wikipeida.org

Elijah Carson, OwlFeed Editor-in-Chief

A movement that has been building for centuries, the Black Lives Matter Movement has recently been brought back into the forefront. However, some people and celebrities have been treating this movement as if it was a trend or a simple fad. 

Others treat it as a bad thing and point to looters and destruction of property that happened during the summer. However, the BLM Movement is so much more than something to glamourize, it’s something to talk about and embrace into our society. 

Back in late May 2020, tragedy broke when hip hop artist George Perry Floyd Jr., an African-American man, was arrested by Officer Derek Chauvin. During the arrest, Floyd had supposedly resisted, which led to Chauvin kneeling on his neck for 8 minutes and 46 seconds. During this time, Floyd Jr. cried for mercy and help, crying, “Someone help! I can’t breathe. Please, please stop.” However, Officer Chauvin ignored him. 

He then passed out, and when medics arrived, he was pronounced dead on arrival. This sparked outrage out of the community as people cried out for justice. Even the official BlackLivesMatter.com made a statement about Floyd’s death saying, “We don’t deserve to live like this — and we continue to fight until white supremacy no longer permeates every corner of this country — until we can live full lives — freely.”

Photo Credit: commons.wikipeida.org

For hundreds of years, racial injustice has been prominent, and as a community, we have stated that this is enough. 

Over the next few days, protests around the United States erupted and marched for the unfair treatment to end. New slogans and mottos came out from this like ACAB and even #DefundThePolice, where the majority seemed to agree and wanted support from the government. 

Day after day, killings of black men and women continued to emerge, such as the shooting of Breonna Taylor, who was sleeping when officers broke down her door and fatally shot her. Or even Ahmaud Arbery, who was chased by two men in a truck while jogging, until he was shot down. More people cried for help, and some still argue that we need more. 

I agree, however, as of late it seems that the cries for something to happen have been stifled and barely make a whimper. Then I realized the movement wasn’t as powerful or influential as I thought. Most people treated it like it was a trend, where some people had pretended to be at protests by taking pictures holding signs reading #BLM. 

One notable celebrity was singer-songwriter Madison Beer, who appeared to have fake a photoshoot during a protest while holding a sign saying, “No freedom until we’re equal.” The photographer, Josh, had stated that the photoshoot was faked, where Beer denied all rumours stating, “I did not lie. This photographer is spreading unclear information about me. These are our messages. I will not allow anyone to make me protest day after day into something it is NOT. I am out here for one reason only. I will not allow it to be spun into something it never was.”

However, Beer was spotted leaving in a black car, after a few photos were taken. This isn’t a one-time thing, as multiple influencers were caught doing the same thing. It also doesn’t help when some media outlets mistake the riots and looting as the symbol of the Black Lives Matter movement. 

Some media coverage of the riots was portrayed as looters, and that these looters were the problem of America today. When they struck Washington D.C., President Donald Trump tweeted about the event, referring to them as “these THUGS.” 

Now to the people who are wondering why we need this. It’s because we as a community are tired of people walking all over us, making us feel like a second rate human and claiming that we are unworthy of rights. We are tired of waking up every morning, scared of how the world will treat us. We are tired of being afraid for our lives. 

Photo Credit: commons.wikipeida.org

These protests are important to us because we finally feel after so many years, that we can be heard. Finally, after all these years, we have enough power to stand up to the harassment and injustice that we receive daily. As an African-American, I have received and felt this hate as well. That’s why I think this movement is so amazing and beautiful, and why it hurts me and disgusts me when people just use this platform as a chance to get likes or manipulate the image to make it seem like a bad thing. 

This movement is important to not just me or you but to the future of the world. So that one day, we can all be equal, but for right now, let’s work on the people who need it the most. And in the year 2020, where horrible and crazy events had occurred, we all need something to look forward to. And if crazy things can happen, then let’s make one insane thing, positive for everyone.