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How Black Lives Matter is misunderstood in its approach

The+BLM+movement+was+founded+by+Alicia+Garza%2C+Patrisse+Cullers+and+Opal+Tometi.
The BLM movement was founded by Alicia Garza, Patrisse Cullers and Opal Tometi.

The BLM movement was founded by Alicia Garza, Patrisse Cullers and Opal Tometi.

The BLM movement was founded by Alicia Garza, Patrisse Cullers and Opal Tometi.

Andy Dunklee

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News Station KMOV St. Louis recently ran a story on Cherri Elder from Missouri, owner of Elder’s Antiques, and a threat that was posted on the front window of her store. It read “Pig supporters not welcome. Flag goes down or you go down” along with a crudely drawn sickle and star and some short hand inscription that roughly translates to giving someone the middle finger.

This was in response to Elder’s flying an American Flag with a blue stripe in the middle; a symbol associated with the Blue Lives Matter movement. The official mission of the Blue Lives Matter movement is to support “Americans who believe inlaw and order and want to provide a counterbalance to the dangerous false narratives being propagated about law enforcement.”

This sounds perfectly reasonable, but this mission statement along with a quote Elder provided in the interview saying, “I want to come back to some kind of normalcy. Where people have respect for one another,” doesn’t take into account what “law and order” and “normalcy” mean for Black people in this nation. From the 17th century forward, Black people have been subjected to a long history of human rights abuse on such an appalling scale that the wounds caused by it have yet to even begin to heal, let alone scar.

Now, I would like to make it clear that I do not support any acts of vandalism.  What Black Lives Matter hopes to accomplish in the face of this terrible history and its effects on present day communities is to provide support for “creating a world free of anti-Blackness, where every Black person has the social, economic, and political power to thrive.”

The history of this organization is quite short, only being founded a little over four years ago, but is littered with many stories of activism and protest. It initially began as a twitter hashtag created by Alicia Garza, Patrisse Cullors and Opal Tometi in response to the shooting of Trayvon Martin in Florida. Since their initial twitter inception, the organization has grown into a “member-led global network of more than 40 chapters….[dedicated] to intervene in violence inflicted on Black communities by the state and vigilantes.”

It would not be a stretch to describe BLM as the epitome of Millennial activism. Born on social media and dedicated to the proposition of providing help and attention to the sufferings of an exploited people, the organization shows much potential in being an agent of change for the nation.”

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How Black Lives Matter is misunderstood in its approach