Kain Stobbe

The Black Lives Matter Movement needs your help to put an end to systemic racism.

‘#BlackLivesMatter’ was spread on social media by the co-founder Alicia Garzia following the murder of Trayvon Martin, a 17 year old, in 2012. The connection with the Black Lives Matter movement shows how it’s viewed as a human rights movement, focusing mainly on fighting for a fundamental reordering in society where Black lives are free from systemic racism. Whether people express that through social media or protests, the movement’s impact on the political landscape is undeniable.

The BLM Movement is presented as a human rights movement, rather than a civil rights movement. With that said, college students in Missouri, as a part of the #ConcernedStudent1950 movement led to the resignation of the University of Missouri President due to his poor efforts to deal with racism on campus. Graduate assistants would challenge walk outs, hold demonstrations and form a union to join forces with students on campus to help display against racism. Following the student-led movement, the football team threatened to boycott if President Timothy M. Wolfe hadn’t resigned. 

“Tim Wolfe’s resignation was a necessary step toward healing and reconciliation on the University of Missouri campus, and I appreciate his decision to do so.” Gov. Jay Nixon said in a 2015 interview with The New York Times. Members who took part in the demonstrations also felt inspired by a suburb of St. Louis in 2014. A white police officer killed an unarmed Black man, Michael Brown, which then led to the organization of protests for justice for Brown through social media. Students and faculty members promoted  continuous activism, protesting on campuses around the U.S. 

When viewing all that the Black Lives Matter movement has accomplished, you can observe all the obstacles gone through along the way for Black people to fight against discrimination. After the death of George Floyd, protests erupted. In response to letting the people’s voice be heard, set fires, broken windows of department stores and the storming of a police precinct came into play. In innovation of Richard Nixon’s message of “law and order” in 1948, Donald Trump spread his message, tweeting, “when the looting starts, the shooting starts,” referring to individuals who were fighting for justice for George Floyd as “thugs” or “terrorists.” In response to how Trump mishandled the coronavirus pandemic, this would be his “rescue.” His comeback to his poor acts of leadership in handling our number one problem today. 

Any protestors, anarchists, agitators, looters or lowlifes who are going to Oklahoma please understand, you will not be treated like you have been in New York, Seattle, or Minneapolis.”

— Donald Trump

In June, Trump tweeted out against protestors with his intentions to show that there wasn’t a difference between those who chose to protest peacefully versus those who may engage in violence. Trump’s hope was for the protest to produce enough chaos for the kind of racist backlash he used for the presidency. In the 2014 protests in response to the shooting of Michael Brown, Trump blamed the acts’ misdeeds on Barack Obama. “With our weak leadership in Washington, you can expect Ferguson type riots and looting in other places,” said Trump in 2014. 

Along with the ‘#BlackLivesMatter’ tag came from an event that took place all over social media as a day to show that users support Black lives. On June 2, 2020, a black picture was posted mainly on instagram with the tag #blackouttuesday in support of Black lives. But, that wasn’t enough. The question is, are you following everyone else and going along with the “trend,” or are you a true supporter? It’s not enough to just make a post and say “we need to make a change,” but to actually take action into doing so. Petitions and organizations have been created to take that extra step into making a change for Black lives. Emailing or texting police departments, calling mayors and governors educating yourself on the matter are all steps to take to help bring an end to racism and police brutality. Putting an end to racism and police brutality will help make the world overall become a more peaceful, happier place.