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What is Black Lives Matter?

As stated on the organization's website the Black Lives Matter movement,"...began as a call to action in response to state-sanctioned violence and anti-Black racism" in the U.S. and has now grown into a global approach to confront racial inequalities in society.

A general understanding of what it means when Black Lives Matter is mentioned is a response to White supremacy and bringing an awareness the to fact that "Our society was intentionally built to be racist"(see Systemic vs. Systematic Racism) as described by the Detroit chapter of BLM. There is a demand for acknowledgement and to enact change on the macro level or widespread social processes.

The movement started with the use of the hashtag #BlackLivesMatter on social media, after the acquittal of George Zimmerman who killed the Black teen Trayvon Martin. Black Lives Matter became more widely recognized for its public expression following the 2014 deaths of two Black men: Eric Garner in New York City, NY and Michael Brown, resulting in protests and unrest in Ferguson, MO.

Since the Ferguson protests, the movement has protested against the deaths of many other Black Americans killed by police involvement or while in police custody including: Jonathan Ferrell, John Crawford, Ezell Ford, Laquan McDonald, Akai Gurley, Tamir Rice, Eric Harris, Walter Scott, Freddie Gray, Sandra Bland, Samuel DuBose, Jeremy McDole, Alton Sterling, Philando Castile, George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Elijah McClain, Riah Milton, Oluwatoyin Salah, Marielle Franco, Tseshego Fatso Pule, Christine Ricketts, Bobby Jean Graham, Atatiana jefferson, Aura Rosser, Botham Jean.

Even though a recent survey shows that two-thirds of Americans support Black Lives Matter, the movement is also being used to create divisiveness on social media and news media.

The phrase 'All Lives Matter' quickly became a coined response to the Black Lives Matter movement as a showing of backlash and is mostly used as a diversionary tactic to dismiss issues focusing on Black lives and to avoid recognizing privilege. Espousing "All Lives Matter" is problematic because it does not signify a message of inclusion or unity. It signifies willful ignorance and the rejection of acknowledging that Black lives should matter just as much as everyone else.

Does Black Lives Matter = Anti-White?

No. The statement or movement is not an anti-white proposition. As mentioned in, 11 Major Misconceptions About the Black Lives Matter Movement, "It is about acknowledging that the system already treats white lives as if they have more value...".

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