Professor Denise MarceauxESOI 100
4th November 2108
Racial Discrimination of African Americans in USA: The Black Lives Matter Movement
Black people are three times more prone to be killed by the police force than white people within the USA (Walters, 204). Around seventy-two percent of Trans people murdered in the United States are black women. The police killed a minimum of 309 black people in the United States in the year 2016 (204). The United State has a long history of racial discrimination and gender inequality that is still evident today. While white women obtained the right to vote in 1920, most black women were unable to vote until decades later (201). During the Women’s march, nearly two million people marched in various cities within the United States and not a single arrest was made (205). By contrast, hundreds of unarmed, non-violent Black Lives Matter protesters were arrested nationwide during the height of the protests in 2016. While most white people are often given the benefit of the doubt and protected by the legal and judicial system, most black people are not treated to such standards. The Black Lives Matter Movement (BLMM) campaigns against violence and systemic racism towards black people by creating further awareness and fighting against the racial discrimination against African Americans in the USA.
The Black Lives Matter Movement (BLMM) campaigns and protests against the racial inequality of the female gender in the United States. The similarities between the Women’s march and the Black Lives matter movement protests are very apparent, but the response of the United states towards both is also very different (206). The gathering of white women does not result in the almost automatic mobilization of the police force and hence the situation rarely escalates, this is in sharp contrast to the Black Lives Matter movement’s protests where the police geared up for a riot and escalated an otherwise peaceful event. The Women’s march was an example of the right to gather peacefully and nonviolently, this right has historically been granted specifically to marches centered on white feminism but denied to The Black Lives Matter female protesters. All women are expected to be feminist, but not all feminists support all women. Ironically, the Women’s March and the Black Lives Matter Movement were both founded by women who felt helpless and angry against a system that doesn’t project the equality of the rights and liberties of its members. Various women, from all circles of life, showed up for the Women’s March in an act of resistance yet black women are often left to stand alone. For modern feminism to survive, it has to create an accommodation for those excluded by white feminism. These groups include those who are both women and members of ethnic and racial minorities. Black women are often victimized in similar ways as black men through racial profiling, and targeting of the poor, disabled, and Trans women. (204).
The Black Lives Matter Movement (BLMM) seeks to challenge the undervaluation of black lives which is vividly portrayed in the systematic violence being depicted on blacks that often goes unchecked and unchallenged. ‘This violence is not limited to the extrajudicial killings of unarmed black people by the police and vigilantes, but also encompasses various and often less blatant, forms of violence that are commonly state-sanctioned’. (Esposito et al, 162). Benevolent racism is a form of racism that is much different from the regular de-racialization that characterizes other forms of post-civil rights racisms, whereby racial inequity operates in the disguise of a false statement of racial neutrality. Instead, benevolent racism works through a medium that seems race-conscious by acknowledging the system of white privilege and racial inequity but does so in ways that reinforce racist attitudes and practices in the name of uplifting the black society (161). Pushing for policies/practices that, whether intended or not, ultimately hurt the black communities, examples include; the gentrification of low-income minority communities and the system of racialized punishment that permeates the U.S school system. Benevolent racism reinforces attitudes and practices that perpetuate racial inequality and black disenfranchisement. Most specifically claiming that the BLMM has weakened policing and ignored black on black crime within the Black community (163). Benevolent racism recognizes racism, however, it does so by supporting various strategic policies and practices that ultimately uphold the racial status quo. These policies and practices are implemented in the name of uplifting and empowering the black community (165). The BLMM is an indictment of these series of racialized violence and inequality, as well as an affirmation of black people’s humanity and contribution to society in the face of deadly oppression. (162)
The Black Lives Matter Movement (BLMM) has inspired a massive uprising against police violence. The BLMM protesters face the very same thing they protest-police brutality, unjustified arrests, jail time and trauma. (Meyerson). Police brutality on black people cannot be denied as we have seen and witnessed cases where police have arrested protesters on private property without permission. (Meyerson). The militarization of the police force creates more fear in black Americans as police officers receive military training and use these tactics to manage protesters. More than 50% of people visited by the SWAT in the year 2014 were people of color. (Meyerson). Black men are six times more likely to be imprisoned than white men and black women more than twice as likely as white women. (Meyerson). Furthermore, black men are three times more likely than white men to be put to death at the hands of law enforcement. Exposure to Police violence most often results in psychological trauma (Meyerson). These traumas often leads to an irrational fear and questioning of the motives of the police by black people. Protesting is a civil right in the US and the Black Lives Matter Movement has inspired protests against police violence but black people are still getting arrested for expressing these rights within the United States. The Black Lives Matter Movement (BLMM) aims at exposing the various forms of oppression, police violence, and brutality of the black people and also advocate for their rights by constantly rallying attention to this form of racial discrimination of African Americans in the United States.
In conclusion, Racial Discrimination of African Americans in the USA is still very real and active today. A large number of African Americans have reported experiencing multiple forms of discrimination which includes racial slurs and people making insensitive or offensive comments about their race. Furthermore police violence and brutality, benevolent racism is still directed at African Americans in the United States. The Black Lives Matter Movement (BLMM) fights to achieve a world free from discrimination and segregation. I believe that the BLMM can achieve this aim by becoming more active in the politics of the United State. Canvassing support for more political representatives that support their aims and objectives in every sector. It is the hope that one day racial discrimination of African Americans in the USA will not even be an issue and that everyone could live a respectful and peaceful life without regards to the color of their skins. A world where every American, without regards to color or race, could believe in the flag- a representation of what it means to be American (Meyerson).
Esposito, Luigi, and Victor Romano. “Benevolent Racism and the Co-Optation of the Black
Lives Matter Movement.” The Western Journal of Black Studies, 2016.
Meyerson, Collier. “When protesting police violence puts you in the crosshairs.” The Nation, no. 16, 2017, p. 16. EBSCOhost,ezproxy.ucs.louisiana.edu:2048/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&AuthType=ip,cookie,uid,url&db=edsggr&AN=edsgcl.519383991&site=eds-live.
Watters, Jessica. “Pink hats and black fists: the role of women in the black lives matter
Movement.” William & Mary Journal of Women and the Law, no. 1, 2017, p. 199. EBSCOhost,ezproxy.ucs.louisiana.edu:2048/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&AuthType=ip,cookie,uid,url&db=edsgao&AN=edsgcl.525680931&site=eds-live.