Magenta Nation – Fakchex


Black Lives Matter has become a lightning rod phrase in America’s cultural politics. What it means—and what kind of reaction you will get—can vary wildly depending on who’s involved in the conversation.In order to address the movement, what it means, and what it wants appropriately and fairly, it’s important to cut through the noise and get to the facts.

Here are several important things to know about Black Lives Matter:

  1. The slogan emerged in 2012 after the murder of Trayvon Martin, an unarmed 17-year-old, in a combination of a post on Facebook by Alicia Garza and a hashtag created by Patrisse Cullors. Support and use of the phrase continued to grow after the murder of Eric Garner (2014), Michael Brown (2014), and George Floyd (2020), all killed by police.
  2. Alicia Garza, Patrisse Cullors, and Opal Tometi—building off the aforementioned post and hashtag—create the Black Lives Matter Network, an organization structured to be decentralized and led by grassroots momentum sharing their resources and information. After the murder of Michael Brown the organization was expanded into the Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation, and then further to the Movement for Black Lives.
  3. The phrase “Black lives matter” does not mean that “only” black lives matter, or that they matter more than others. The phrase means that black lives matter also—just as much as, but not more than, other lives; a recognition that historically black lives have not mattered the same as other groups, and a demand that black lives are given the same care and respect shown to others.
  4. The stated primary objects of the Black Lives Matter organization include ending police brutality; fighting for equal treatments and outcomes for black people in the court system; and fighting for equality in issues including mental health, the LGBTQ community, and voting rights.
  5. The slogan is not always directly attached to the organization. The hashtag is used by millions of people on social media around the world, and many say they use it to oppose racism rather than specifically support the organization.

Critics of the Black Lives Matter organization, including former US Secretary of Housing Ben Carson, have accused it of being a “Marxist-driven organization.” One of the three founders, Patrisse Cullors, has stated that “I do believe in Marxism.” In a movement with millions of supporters, there will inevitably be people from all kinds of philosophies and beliefs—however, even with one of the co-founders saying that she believes in Marxism, other critics of the organization acknowledge that it is different from historical Marxism and its listed goals are not expressly anti-capitalist, which is a key Marxist identifier.

Critics have accused the Black Lives Matter organization of inspiring violence at demonstrations supporting the slogan and encouraging or even causing the killing of police. However, analysis of Black Lives Matter demonstrations and rallies found that the vast majority were peaceful, and of those rallies that did experience conflict between demonstrators and police, law enforcement had behaved with unusual aggression leading up to it.

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