Black lives matter

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Black lives matter is a political slogan or hashtag that became popular in response to a series of incidents involving what was believed to be an excessive use of force resulting in the death of blacks in the United States. Because there is no organization behind "black lives matter", there is no precise agenda or goals represented by the slogan.

The #blacklivesmatter hashtag became popular following the death in 2012 of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin who was killed by George Zimmerman, a community watch volunteer. Different people have tried to capitalize on the slogan and take leadership of the people that have adopted the hashtag. For example, three lesbians[1] have started a website http://blacklivesmatter.com, although there has been no general consensus that this website plays an official role for the entire group.

Controversies

People who value all human life advocated #alllivesmatter as a more appropriate slogan. They argue that people should care about Trayvon Martin and other victims because they are human beings without regard to their race. Many people believe that the social problems resulting in these deaths are too complex to discuss as hashtags an would prefer a more reasoned dialog.[2] During a 2015 televised Democratic candidate debate, the moderator asked each candidate to pick either #blacklivesmatter or #alllivesmatter, with all the candidates picking #blacklivesmatter.[3]

The "Nashville chapter of Black Lives Matter" booked a meeting room in the local library for the public meetings of the group. However, the group excluded whites from attending their meetings. Some people complained and the library said it would enforce its rule allowing the public and media to attend. The meetings moved to a local church with whites continued to be excluded.[4]

On February 18, 2016, President Obama invited a number of civil rights leaders to meet with him and included Aislinn Pulley, a leader of "Black Lives Matter Chicago." Pulley rejected Obama's invitation and did not attend the meeting.[5]

In February 2016, some Facebook employees wrote #blacklivesmatter on community white boards at their company headquarters. Other employees crossed out that slogan and replaced it with "all lives matter." In response, Mark Zuckerberg sent a memo to Facebook employees ordering them to stop it, in contradiction of the policy that these board were supposed to be "free speech zones." Zuckerburg wrote, " 'Black lives matter' doesn't mean other lives don't -- it's simply asking that the black community also achieves the justice they deserve." Two percent of Facebook employees are black.[6]

On February 29, 2016, Donald Trump held a rally that was disrupted by Black lives matter protestors. Trump responded that "all lives matter."[7][8]

In response to a tragic death of a police officer in the line of duty, the hashtag #bluelivesmatter was circulated. In response, Village Voice has tried to make light of it.[9]

References

  1. The Theft of Black Queer Women’s Work. Retrieved on Feb. 29, 2016.
  2. Ann Coulter reported: "In 2008, the most recent year for which such data seems to have been collected, FBI surveys show that, out of 520,161 interracial violent crimes, blacks committed 429,444 of them against whites, while whites committed 90,717 of them against blacks. In other words, blacks commit more than 80 percent of all interracial violent crime." (June 24, 2015). "There's a reason we mostly hear about white 'micro-aggressions'". Ann Coulter website.
  3. "The Future Democratic Presidential Nominee Thinks Black Lives Matter", Huffington Post, October 14, 2016. Retrieved on Feb. 29, 2016. 
  4. "Black Lives Matter 'color-only' rule runs afoul of Nashville library", The Tennesseean, February 19, 2016. Retrieved on March 1, 2016. 
  5. Liptak, Kevin. "Obama meets with civil rights leaders -- minus Black Lives Matter", CNN, Feb. 18, 2016. Retrieved on Feb. 28, 2016. 
  6. "Zuckerberg tells workers not to cross out "Black Lives Matter"", CBS News, Feb. 25, 2016. Retrieved on Feb. 29, 2016. 
  7. "Photographer: Secret Service agent choked me at a Trump rally", CNN, Feb. 29, 2016. Retrieved on Feb. 29, 2016. 
  8. "Black Students Removed From Trump Rally In Georgia", Huffington Post, Feb. 29, 2016. Retrieved on Feb. 29, 2016. 
  9. Twitter Trolls #BlueLivesMatter With Meme Featuring Smurfs, the Na'vi, and Tobias Fünke. Village Voice (December 16, 2016). Retrieved on Feb. 29, 2016.

External links