This is just (what I hope will be) a short post in response to an ‘Ask the FSM’ I received. It has to be short because otherwise this post will turn into a political rant. As do the majority of my ‘neutral’ posts, now I think of it actually. But whatever. This is also quite a timely-relevant question, as October is the month we celebrate Black History Month in the UK.
QueenNefertiti asked at 15:04 – ‘What do you think of BLM?’
For those of you who are unaware, the abbreviation ‘BLM’ is in reference to the Black Lives Matter movement, founded by three African-Americans in 2013, through a social media hashtag, (#BlackLivesMatter or #BLM) following the acquittal of George Zimmerman in the murder of Trayvon Martin.
I’d like to apologise in advance for any grammatical or informational discrepancies, but in short, this is what I think of it:
The fact that we live in a world where ‘Black Lives Matter’ has to be voiced aloud for people to recognise this basic fact is despicable. It should just go without saying. I think, as not just a black person but also a person who clearly sees injustices and racism in the majority of the institutions worldwide, that BLM is a very valuable and worthwhile movement. At the same time, it’s a travesty that this movement exists, because it just shows the so-called ‘progressiveness’ of our society isn’t, in fact, as forward-thinking as we’d like to believe. However, the general success and support of the movement inspires a level of hope in me; that despite the mostly fractured and separated community of blacks, there still remains some level of solidarity.
I believe that the common misconception of the BLM movement is that people believe that when it is said, it means ‘ONLY Black Lives Matter’ or ‘Let’s ignore every other marginalised group and recognise only the oppression of Black people’; both which are, of course, wildly inaccurate interpretations of the movement. BLM literally means ‘Black Lives Matter’, not any more or any less than any other race or ethnic group, and that we would like you – the authority, the law-deciding institutions of the world, but moreso of America – to recognise this fact when you are dealing with any case relating to the wrongful treatment of black people, judicially, socially and in any other relevant context.
Of course we need BLM. The amount of horrific cases of police brutality that have been surfacing for the past years are far too many – there should be none. The figures of inequality and injustices in the wrongful convictions of black people or alternatively the wrongful acquittal of white people who have committed crimes against blacks (especially in the case of police officers who have murdered innocent black civilians) are ridiculously high, and indicate (to me, at least) a clear problem. The fact that people are disregarding BLM as a movement which is ‘unnecessary’ or even ‘radical’ is, in my opinion, offensive. How can you tell me that a movement which acknowledges the oppression of a marginalised group and attempts to combat that oppression, through peaceful protesting and campaigning, is ‘radical’? They are literally fighting for the right to be recognised and treated as equals – a status which black people (in America in particular) have been fighting for, for the best part of 400 years.
BLM is not a supremacist, violent or systematically-racist movement. It is a movement that combats the supremacist, violent and systematically-racist institutions of America, and yet is still relevant for black people in communities all over the world. BLM is not a radical movement. There may be radical supporters WITHIN the movement, but there have been and are radicals within every group which stands for peace and equality; in the same way that you cannot label every Muslim an extremist or every white person a racist, you cannot label everyone who agrees with the BLM movement a ‘radical white-hater’, or a ‘segregationist’. Plus, not only black people support the movement. People from all different ethnic backgrounds and races support this movement; another indication that this movement is not at all an ‘exclusive’ one.
I support Black Lives Matter. I am not a violent, a segregationist, a ‘radical’ or anything more than a person who desires social, political and economic equality for blacks – and social and economic equality are, for the most part, still ongoing struggles.
I also do not think that the counteractive ‘All Lives Matter’ should even be used in the same sentence. Yes, ‘All Lives Matter’ but saying ‘ALL lives’ is not specifically focusing on the lives which are currently at risk; you’re including a group which is CLEARLY not marginalised or experiencing the same levels of inequality as others. Yes, there are other oppressed and marginalised groups, but rather than bringing them up as an argument to counteract the BLM movement, why not campaign for these issues yourself? Rather than attempting to invalidate the BLM movement by raising other racial issues, why not simply take up the mantle and raise these issues yourself? Rather than citing ‘black-on-black crime’ as the greater killer of black people in America than the American Police force, why not stop trying to invalidate BLM with somewhat pathetic and irrelevant excuses? As I saw on a very succinct Instagram post, it’s like people saying “Black Lives Matter” and the response group saying “Yes they do BUT…” There is no need to add a ‘but’. There is no ‘but’. Black Lives Matter. End of discussion.
I hope I’ve answered your question, QueenNefertiti.
That wasn’t even a short post, but I hope that my point is clear; I’m sure it is.
Love the Faerie Squad Mother x