By now, you must have heard of, seen, or maybe even knee-jerkingly hash tagged #BlackLivesMatter on your social media channels, unless you are completely oblivious to current events or even worse, you simply don’t care. Say what you want about the Black Lives Matter Movement, but they are a necessary revolutionary force to reckon with. Their avant-garde, radical, and sometimes disruptive approach to combating human rights violations of Black people in America may be uncouth for some, but I raise my clenched fist in solidarity. Martin Luther King, Jr. in his 1963 book, “Why We Can’t Wait”, penned a most befitting statement: “Perhaps…the nation and the world are in dire need of creative extremists”. Fifty years later, activist brainchildren, Alicia Garza, Patrisse Cullors, and Opal Tometi, actualized the need in the aftermath of the acquittal of George Zimmerman in the murder of unarmed African-American teenager, Trayvon Martin in 2013.
Black Lives Matter is a decentralized network of grassroots agents of change without, say, the political and arguably corrupt and misguided agenda of today’s NAACP, which asserts the immediate need for systematic reform in the areas of racial profiling, police brutality, mass incarceration of African-Americans, and the militarization of many U.S. police departments. Their fed-up, take-no-prisoners strategy shocked the nation during the uprisings in Ferguson, Missouri, New York City, and Baltimore, Maryland after the unnecessary deaths of Michael Brown, Eric Garner, and Freddie Gray, respectively. They’ve drawn their line in the sand and toed the line in the middle of city streets and highways across the Nation. They’ve audaciously confronted white presidential candidates in mid-sentence (see Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton) and even disrupted D.C. mayor Muriel Bowser for 18 minutes during an anti-crime pitch shouting “Jobs, not jails!” and “More police is not the answer!”
And while the msinformed and culturally-biased miss the boat with their unwarranted deflection that “All Lives Matter”, “White Lives Matter”, or “Blue Lives Matter”, their unwavering message is clear: “#BlackLivesMatter doesn't mean your life isn't important–it means that black lives, which are seen as without value within white supremacy, are important to your liberation".
Now some may call me hypocritical because in a previous post, I made a call for unity under a consolidated organization of change and while I still agree that unity is required in order to effectively exact the necessary changes in the lives of black and brown people, as long as the efforts of the many are pointed towards the same goal, that’s all that really matters. It can be summed up in the words that my brother stated so eloquently: “Unity in objective doesn't have to nor should it preclude diversity of ideas and approaches. As long as everyone is doing something of substance to improve the lives of our people, then that's what matters. The black community is amorphous. You won't find it in one place, and you'll discover that it's full of different ideas. That should be used to our benefit, not our detriment”.