A hoodie, Arizona ice tea and skittles. That was the spark that spawn into a flustering fire. On February 26, 2012 in Sanford, Florida seventeen year old Trayvon Martin was shot and killed.
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The murderer, George Zimmerman. The verdict, not guilty. As the story got out and emotions ran high, people all around the country took to social media in opinions and views. Sympathy goes out to the family of victim, questions to the judicial system and history’s dark past seeming to reoccur. Black Lives Matter. As time carries on the shooting of unarmed African Americans become more frequent and not from people on the street, but from our protection system. Police brutality and corruption exposure has flared all over the United States. As more unarmed shootings occur, Black Lives Matters began to turn into more than just a hashtag. Police brutality has influenced the Black Lives Matter movement in results of protest, injustice and psychological trauma.
As Black Lives Matters grows as a movement, so does the mortality rate of unarmed African Americans being shot. According to the article This is How Many People Police Have Killed So Far in 2016, by Celisa Calacal published on July 5, 2016. 194 Black Americans have been killed by police so far this year, at a rate of 4.86 deaths per million. (Calacal). Two years later according to the Washington Post fatal force database, there have been 857 people shot and killed by the police as of October 1st at 5:21pm. Out of those 857 killings, 289 of them were unarmed African Americans. Police brutality is a rising problem in the Black Lives Matter movement, and though there other many factors, this has become a key subject in change. With the fatal shootings, a lot of people apart of the movement have taken this problems to the street.
Protest happening nationwide in reverence of the fallen and hunger for change. As stated in the Free Speech and Protest article by Liberty-Human- Rights.org. The right to free speech and protest along with the right to form and join association or groups, are found in Articles 10 and 11 of the Humans Rights Act. But many protest have been shut down or turned violent, as tension runs high and rights are violated. A bond that has become broken between the people and the police. As A Solution to this problem protesters must stay calm and become less violent. Though adrenaline is running and anger is high, protesters must stay calm and not let these factors over take them. Freedom of speech is protected, but with exceptions. Make a difference with protest, not make situations worse. Following the shooting and riots of police officers in Dallas, Texas. Police chief David Brown states in his press conference Become part of the solution, we’re hiring. States the article Dallas Police Chief to Protests by Keri Blankinger (Blankinger). Also coming to the police chiefs and having a formal agreement for the protest.
Racial Injustice also plays a big role in the Black Lives Matter Movement. With a history of the justice system corrupted in cases affecting the African American American community in fairness and justice. An example is the University of Missouri Hunger Strike. African Americans teens were being threatened and harassed, as they informed the university president and nothing was done. The University’s football team and others then began to do a hunger strike for change as two days after the strike the university President Tim Wolfe resigned. According to the news media outlets, police brutality looks the same today as it did in the 1960’s. The harsh treatment towards African Americans from government officials was not uncommon then and it is not unheard of now. Today, many cases of gross murders and vicious brutality are taking place on camera. Even with solid evidence, the cry for justice by all American citizens is still not loud enough ( Blake). Huffington Post’s Sharon Blake stated in her article Racial Injustice; Is America Ignoring the Truth.
Other injustices include long run things such as housing. Alex Midrigal uncovers acts in his article article that made housing more complicated for African Americans. He states One of the most heinous of these policies was introduced by the creation of the Federal Housing Administration in 1934, and lasted until 1968. Otherwise celebrated for making homeownership accessible to white people by guaranteeing their loans, the FHA explicitly refused to back loans to black people or even other people who lived near black people. As TNC puts it, “Redlining destroyed the possibility of investment wherever black people lived” ( Midrigal). Injustices that must be addressed and changed. A solution to these injustices are petitions and laws. Things as taking solution to our judicial courts for these acts to be overturned and revised. These injustices are intolerable and unacceptable, rather it is social or any other category. By having these laws overturned, a difference can be made. And re-evaluating who is also in power, and getting people in power that are in favor of change.
Trauma is inevitable. With access to modern day technology such as social media, things such as police brutality are now exposed. Social Media is a big part of the Black Lives Matters movement, as that is how it started. There are many pro’s to this but also con’s. Since social media is open to everyone around the world, all can see. That ranges from a child browsing on their mother’s phone to a grandfather trying to keep up with what is trending. Post Traumatic stress disorder can stem from many things, and is not always visible. In these past years with all the shootings, racial profiling and harassment of African American many have come across this problem. Dr. Robert T. Carter states in his article of research that In 2001, the US Surgeon General issued a report about the status of mental health with respect to racial and ethnic minority groups, which stated that ethnic and racial disparities were likely due to racism and discrimination.1 Empiric investigations have linked racism to poor mental health and have shown that racism is stressful and compromises the mental health of persons of color ( Carter). Racial based traumatic stress is a problem that is just now getting recognized, and research is now happening. That in itself is one step forward to creating a solid solution.
The Black Lives Matter movement is a movement that has literally came to life. From a hashtag to having stations international in the fight for equality and justice. Police brutality has influenced the Black Lives Matter movement in results of protest, injustice and psychological trauma. Moving forward with solutions to these problems such as making agreement with the police before peaceful protest, getting laws removed that are biased and prejudiced and continuing to research are all steps that can be made for change and hopefully solving these dilemmas completely. If these problems are not resolved there is a fear of violence and racial tension. With the history of African -Americans in America and all the factors of the past from slavery to Jim Crow laws what lies ahead is unpredictable. As a nation these problems must be executed as time starts to dwindle and patience runs this. But one must recognize they are in darkness to reach the light. The past can not be altered and this nation can not take back time and all that has happened, but change can be made and wrongs can be made right. You can not control the wind, but you can control the sail.
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