Understanding BLM

Letters to the Editor

Understanding BLM

Friday, June 26, 2020

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Dear Editor,

If one's response to Black Lives Matter (BLM) is All Lives Matter it would be highly suggestive that there is a lack of basic understanding of what the BLM movement represents.

The BLM is an organised movement that employs non-violent, civil disobedience tactics in protest of police barbarity towards African Americans, albeit some of their protests descend into violence.

The movement started as a hashtag in the year 2013 after the acquittal of George Zimmerman in the February 2012 shooting death of an African American teenager Trayvon Martin and gained greater traction with the unjustifiable 2014 deaths of Martin Brown and Eric Garner occasioned by police. It should be noted that American history has recorded several similar deaths of black men and women prior to Trayvon's passing and a few more after that of Brown and Garner without the balanced scale of justice.

Based on the aforesaid, it should not be too difficult to grasp what BLM, as a subset of all lives matter, represents. Certainly, BLM is not mutually exclusive to all lives matter. Further and undoubtedly, black lives are no more important than all other lives. But having said that, is it unreasonable to demand that blacks' right to life be protected like all other lives?

And let us not conflate this issue with black-on-black crimes, which requires a different approach and remedy. Moreover, the mere mention of black-on-black crimes in this debate gives a fallacious justification for police barbarity towards blacks.

The distaste for the pervasive, negative cultural practices of blacks should not cloud one's view of the injustices being perpetrated against the black skin.

Robert Silence


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