Why ‘Black Lives Matter’ merits attention


By Reana Chavez


#BLACKLIVESMATTER, the social activist group that was created through social media, has become one of the most talked-about movements in the year 2016.

It is one of the biggest things to happen on and off social media, getting both positive and negative reactions. It started off as a way to shine a light on police brutality, but many others associate this movement with violence, even wanting to label it as a terrorist organization and a hate group.

The group was created in 2012 after George Zimmerman, a neighborhood watch volunteer at the time in Sanford, Fla., fatally shot 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, who was black. The movement grew larger with every reported wrongful police-related death of black women, men and children.

Some of the noted victims of reported police brutality and police violence included young children such as 12-year-old Tamir Rice in Cleveland, Ohio, older men such as 43-year-old Eric Garner in Staten Island, N.Y., and women such as 28-year-old-Sandra Bland in Waller County, Texas. Black Lives Matter wants to bring awareness to these wrongful deaths by peaceful protests, which have been shut down numerous times by police enforcement.

San Antonio has held a few peaceful protests for the BLM (Black Lives Matter) such as the “BLACK OUT SA” in 2015 in the heart of downtown was arrested and charged with “disorderly conduct – language.” BLM protesters also showed up to the Martin Luther King Jr. march that San Antonio holds – the largest such march in the country.

Richard Rodriguez, a student at Incarnate Word, said he’s been “pretty involved with the Twitter environment for a long time now,” and recalls hearing about Black Lives Matter first that way. “I can’t exactly remember when I heard about Black Lives Matter, but it was definitely around the time the Trayvon Martin verdict was announced. I had seen the movement mentioned here and there, but I gained a lot of knowledge when I began to follow” a friend in New York City.

Black Lives Matter is ridiculed quite often by those who believe the group is only concerned about blacks.

When I asked Rodriguez why he thinks it is “Black Lives Matter” and not “All Lives Matter,” he replied, “It’s #BlackLivesMatter because it seems our American government and society holds a lesser value for the lives of black people and other people of color compared to the white people in this country.

“If people took the time to listen to those who are part of the movement instead of making negative assumptions about it, we would be moving forward as a whole instead of taking a trip back to when segregation was still around. No one, especially those that live in the Land of the Free, should be scared and find difficulties because their skin is darker than anyone else’s. This sets our country back so far, and that’s why Black Lives Matter is a big deal that everyone should get involved in.

“We see these innocent black lives being taken in the streets, in churches, in their own home, sometimes by those who are protecting and serving us. Many black people are just as human as anyone else, so why should the law, why should teachers, why should anyone treat them differently because of how they look? We are in the year 2016 and still having to have the talk about racism. We all need to acknowledge the dark history of this country and move forward to make things change.”


E-mail Chavez at reana.chavez@gmail.com


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