A movement that is years old reignited, but why?
Written by: Rafa
Anyone who hasn’t been living under a rock knows about the BLM movement. The BLM movement is serious and powerful, affirming the systematic oppression that black people face daily. Yes, it’s 2021 and you think the BLM movement has passed, so why should you care? Do you not think the phenomenal moves that were made last year need to continue? Or do you think racism has ended?
So, what exactly happened?
The movement gained momentum by the death of George Floyd on the 25th May 2020, FYI BLM actually started in 2013, a movement filled with nothing but years of racism. One policeman knelt on George Floyd’s throat for eight minutes whilst the three other policemen watched until his vital organs lost access to oxygen. US professionals, members of the state who are meant to protect the public did this. Shocking, isn’t it? This tragic event was received with outrage, and rightly so, with protests and rallies starting almost immediately.
It’s unbelievable to think around 15–25 million Americans participated in the BLM movement, from protesting to creating fundraising pages and posting on social media to increase awareness, and yet the US policing system hardly changed. Personally, I was made more aware of the BLM movement through the ‘Blacked Out Tuesday’ movement. A black square posted on your Instagram feed may seem futile, but this caught the attention of celebrities more than the protests and marches, which is ridiculous but it’s a lot better than nothing!
How did the rest of the world react?
As well as social media presence rising, there were also protests outside of the USA, countries like Andorra and Uganda really led this movement. However, not all international support was received well by their relative governments. Protestors in Sri Lanka were faced with tear gas and violence, a country with a small black community was supporting the BLM movement? So, what else was done to show support?
From sportsmen, you could see unity across different nations, with many taking the knee before large events, to show their support in ending police brutality and racism. NBA star, Milwaukee Bucks postponed his games until there were some unity and support from the NBA. this was shortly followed by other sportsmen showing their support. It’s crazy to think the NBA was postponed because of racism and not Covid! With increasing Facebook posts showcasing the daily racial abuse sportsmen face, especially those who are black and Asian, the subtle racism within the sports industry became far more prevalent. None of this would have been raised if it wasn’t for the death of George Floyd.
Should you still care about BLM in 2021?
The simple answer is, yes. Coming from a South Asian background, I have always seen the inherent racism in our culture, where black people are viewed in a negative light. Especially when it comes to the older generation, this is very obvious when they automatically place stereotypes onto the black community. You can see the new generation are willing to fight for the racial abuse faced by black people, by going to protests, raising awareness, or simply speaking to their parents and grandparents about it. But, to do something about this, you have to care. This discrimination runs across the world and there simply can’t be any social development if we still believe that one race is superior to another. For there to be a civilised society, we need to tackle racism.
It may seem ridiculous to think you can tackle racism individually, but the least you could do is care and continue to spread awareness.
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