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Jun 2 · Last update 4 mo. ago.

What has the Black Lives Matter movement accomplished?

Black Lives Matter (BLM) is the foremost activist movement aimed at campaigning against institutionalised racism towards black people. The social movement began following George Zimmerman's acquittal for shooting Trayvon Martin, an unarmed black teen, in 2012, and gained international recognition protesting the shooting of Michael Brown and the brutal strangulation of Eric Garner in 2014. The latter's finally words "I can't breath" were mirrored when another black man was choked to death on the 25th May 2020. George Floyd had his neck crushed under officer Derek Chauvin's body weight for 9 minutes as he and bystanders pleaded for his life, and the bystander's video has sparked a huge national backlash. What effect has the BLM movement had on shifting the narrative around racism and police brutality in its 8-year history? What has the movement achieved? What has changed between 2012 and 2020?
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The sacking of the offending officer
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Already leading to social/voting changes
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Mainstream recognition
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Not enough
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Pushed a far-left agenda
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The sacking of the offending officer

In the case of George Floyd, the massive amount of pressure from the Black Lives Matter protest movement, directly allowed for justice to be sought in a much shorter time frame than cases of police brutality have come up against in the past. It took five years for Eric Garner’s killer, Daniel Pantaleo, to be fired from the police force, as he was put on paid administrative leave until very recently. In the case of George Floyd, the mayor fired the four offending police officers almost immediately, with Derek Chauvin being charged with second-degree murder following several autopsies, and the other three former officers charged with aiding and abetting murder. This is a small shift but a decisive win that has been achieved by the Black Lives Matter movement, but as police officers are still allowed to use lethal force, and the country relies on violent police repression, the protests continue.

Police violence definitely hasn't changed though and sacking a few police when the problems are institutional is not likely to end these sorts of movements, and progressively heavy-handed policing of the protests is only adding to obvious need for social change. The case of Derek Chauvin and the 17 complaints filed against him before he murdered George Floyd exemplifies the need to systemic change perfectly, as any system that fails to respond to such a clear warning sign is clearly broken. So, while Black Lives Matter has already achieved an astounding turn around in justice for police brutality, the political system is meanwhile underlining its own failure, only offering no change or incrementalism by either side of the political divide respectively. This should remind the BLM movement both of the power in their movement and the very real need to continue their advocacy for basic human rights and police accountability.

abcnews.go.com/US/black-lives-matter-founder-protesters-simple-accountability/story?id=71008710 thedailybeast.com/daniel-pantaleo-cop-who-killed-eric-garner-fired-by-nypd-commissioner-james-oneill telegraph.co.uk/news/2020/06/01/derek-chauvin-officer-involved-george-floyd-death-had-17-complaints

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Aug 31
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DH edited this paragraph
Police violence definitely hasn't changed though and sacking a few police when the problems are institutional is not likely to end these sorts of movements, and progressively heavy-handed policing of the protests is only adding to obvious need for social change. The case of Derek Chauvin and the 17 complaints filed against him before he murdered George Floyd exemplifies the need to systemic change perfectly, as any system that fails to respond to such a clear warning sign is clearly broken. So, while Black Lives Matter has already achieved an astounding turn around in justice for police brutality, the political system is meanwhile underlining its own failure, only offering no change or incrementalism by either side of the political divide respectively. This should remind the BLM movement both of the power in their movement and the very real need to continue their advocacy for basic human rights and police accountability.

Already leading to social/voting changes

According to a study conducted by Shom Mazumder at the Harvard University, tracking levels of racial resentment over the last decade shows that the Black Lives Matter (BLM) protests had the effect of lowering racial resentment. White participants of the study were found to harbour less racial resentment in counties where a BLM protest had taken place, compared with counties that didn't experience protests. This study shows that there also seemed to be some modest correlation between counties with BLM protests and voting for the Democratic Party, indicating the presence of protests having some affect on politics also. Even with black people being more likely to die from the coronavirus, many BLM activists are willing to risking their health to stand up for racial justice, but it seems to be a risk that is paying off socially and could even pay off politically in time.

What is popularly referred to as the BLM movement is actually the culmination of many independent activists and an umbrella network of decentralised activist groups and organisations. There are 16 chapters of the Black Lives Matter organisation and a number of other smaller affiliated organisations such as Black Youth Project 100, the Dream Defenders, Assata’s Daughters, the St. Louis Action council, Millennial Activists United, and the Organization for Black Struggle. Far from the simple online advocacy the BLM movement is often associated with, the network of organisations have been involved in the grassroots ground work to bring about social change since day one. This side of organising has not generated the massive protests seen on the news but has lead to significant local political changes, such as the resignation of Florida State Attorney, Angela Corey, who failed to convict George Zimmerman, Trayvon Martins murderer. Likewise the movement to unseat Cook County prosecutor, Anita Alvarez, who failed to charge police officers responsible for police shootings, was led by BYP100 and Assata’s Daughters in Chicago.

dataforprogress.org/blog/2019/5/5/black-lives-matter-protests-reduced-whites-racial-prejudice-and-boosted-democratic-party-vote-shares crosscut.com/2020/06/coronavirus-still-real-protesters-say-theyre-fighting-worse-pandemic aclu.org/blog/racial-justice/race-and-criminal-justice/how-black-lives-matter-changed-way-americans-fight

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Aug 31
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DH edited this paragraph
https://www.dataforprogress.org/blog/2019/5/5/black-lives-matter-protests-reduced-whites-racial-prejudice-and-boosted-democratic-party-vote-shares https://crosscut.com/2020/06/coronavirus-still-real-protesters-say-theyre-fighting-worse-pandemic https://www.aclu.org/blog/racial-justice/race-and-criminal-justice/how-black-lives-matter-changed-way-americans-fight

Mainstream recognition

Massive international protests followed George Floyd's death as the bystander's video revealed the callousness of the incident. Likewise the murder of Philando Castile was live-streamed to Facebook by his girlfriend, immediately connecting the online world with the reality of police violence against black people in the US. The Black Lives Matter movement successfully and organically helped foster a space online to aid these horrific events in gaining recognition in the mainstream consciousness, while more importantly connecting the worlds of online social networks with real world activism. The fact that global BLM solidarity protests are now a common occurrence shows that the BLM movement has gained mainstream recognition and acceptance amongst large swaths of communities around the world.

Furthermore the recently embrace of the movement by formerly apolitical celebrities, such as Michael Jordan and Beyonce, demonstrates how the issue of racial police violence is quickly becoming a mainstream issue. The Black Lives Matter movement has not only given a powerful rallying call to a new wave of racial equality protesters globally, but has helped people carved out a powerful presence online, the BLM hashtag able to connect more evidence, ideas, and activist online than ever before. This has helped communicate both realtime video of the horrors faced by black people, but has also communicated political ideas through the use of social media and memes, changing the way people communicate and connecting online and real world social activism.

theringer.com/2016/8/16/16046810/black-lives-matter-social-media-activism-55238f85d66b researchgate.net/publication/319864418_An_Examination_of_Mainstream_Media_as_an_Educating_Institution_The_Black_Lives_Matter_Movement_and_Contemporary_Social_Protest_Culture_Ideology_and_Social_Reproduction_in_Global_Contexts

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DH edited this paragraph
Furthermore the recently embrace of the movement by formerly apolitical celebrities, such as Michael Jordan and Beyonce, demonstrates how the issue of racial police violence is quickly becoming a mainstream issue. The Black Lives Matter movement has not only given a powerful rallying call to a new wave of racial equality protesters globally, but has helped people carved out a powerful presence online, the BLM hashtag able to connect more evidence, ideas, and activist online than ever before. This has helped communicate both realtime video of the horrors faced by black people, but has also communicated political ideas through the use of social media and memes, changing the way people communicate and connecting online and real world social activism.

Not enough

Black Lives Matter (BLM), as a movement, has failed to organise people in a cohesive manner, causing the protests sparked by George Floyd's murder to quickly descend into anarchy and riots that have overwhelmingly damaged black businesses. This has come in the middle of a pandemic that has overwhelmingly affected black people in America, and exposure to the virus is now likely to spike amongst some of societies most vulnerable. BLM has failed to generate a cohesive and peaceful protest movement, enabling many people to overlook the message and concentrate on the damage.

People in American feel broken from so little changing in a country with such a long history of racism and police brutality, and it has now reached a breaking point. People are ready to burn things down, including businesses in their own neighbourhoods, court houses and police stations, this is a time of incredible social outrage and rage, and arguably BLM need to do more to channel that communal emotional outpouring into conducive activism. While the Black Lives Matter may have done a lot of awareness raising around police brutality, it has not done enough to educate on more subtle realities of race inequality and how to mount an effective movement for change.

townhall.com/columnists/larryelder/2020/06/04/the-george-floyd-riots-wheres-black-lives-matter-when-you-need-them-n2570007 washingtontimes.com/news/2020/jun/8/george-floyd-rioting-take-heavy-toll-black-lives-c theguardian.com/world/video/2020/may/30/killer-mike-you-have-a-duty-not-to-burn-your-own-house-down-video

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Aug 30
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DH edited this paragraph
https://townhall.com/columnists/larryelder/2020/06/04/the-george-floyd-riots-wheres-black-lives-matter-when-you-need-them-n2570007 https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2020/jun/8/george-floyd-rioting-take-heavy-toll-black-lives-c/ https://www.theguardian.com/world/video/2020/may/30/killer-mike-you-have-a-duty-not-to-burn-your-own-house-down-video

Pushed a far-left agenda

Black Lives Matter has used exaggerated police shooting statistics to further a Marxist narrative of modern American politics both in the black community and to a new generation of radical left activists. A number a black conservatives have pointed out that police killings of black men have declined by 80% since the late 60s according to the US CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), while, of the approximately 1,000 Americans killed by police annually, only 4% involve a white office killing an unarmed black man. Furthermore organisers within the Black Lives Matter movement have openly described themselves as “Marxists”, while pushing not just police reforms and racial justice but controversial far-left policies, attempting to popularise Marxism by misrepresenting the issue of police violence.

Many younger black conservatives have spoken out against the Black Lives Matter movement, such as Coleman Hughes, Colion Noir, Candace Owens and Zuby, pointing out many problems including the self proclaimed nature of the movement as a “marxist” organisation. Hughes has pointed out how the extreme pressure police are under in a country of gun owners causes inevitable mistakes, while Owens has pointed out the number of black owned businesses that have been damaged or destroyed in the protests. More controversial figures such as NRA-TV host, Colion Noir, has called BLM a race-baiting machine that calls everything that doesn't fit its agenda "white-supremacy". While the mainstream has embraced the BLM protest movement, many black conservatives feel the movement is not achieving anything positive.

townhall.com/columnists/larryelder/2020/06/04/the-george-floyd-riots-wheres-black-lives-matter-when-you-need-them-n2570007 rt.com/usa/491446-candace-owens-blm-police-deaths thefederalist.com/2016/09/28/black-lives-matter-bringing-back-traditional-marxism theblaze.com/news/2017/07/14/black-nra-tv-host-rips-black-lives-matter-calls-it-a-weaponized-race-baiting-machine youtube.com/watch?v=5J9l6VOxYeE archive.org/details/youtube--Sk4-p_0pcU colemanhughes.org/blah

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D H
Aug 30
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DH edited this paragraph
Many younger black conservatives have spoken out against the Black Lives Matter movement, such as Coleman Hughes, Colion Noir, Candace Owens and Zuby, pointing out many problems including the self proclaimed nature of the movement as a “marxist” organisation. Hughes has pointed out how the extreme pressure police are under in a country of gun owners causes inevitable mistakes, while Owens has pointed out the number of black owned businesses that have been damaged or destroyed in the protests. More controversial figures such as NRA-TV host, Colion Noir, has called BLM a race-baiting machine that calls everything that doesn't fit its agenda "white-supremacy". While the mainstream has embraced the BLM protest movement, many black conservatives feel the movement is not achieving anything positive.
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