Black Lives Matter (BLM) is a movement that was created to tackle issues surrounding racism, discrimination, inequality, and social justice against Black people. Started in 2013, the organization was in response to the acquittal of Trayvon Martin’s murderer, George Zimmerman.
The movement started out strong and many began to follow and support the organization. BLM also brought national attention to many different injustices that were occurring across the nation. However, recently, many individuals have started to question the motives of the organization and if BLM is still accomplishing the same goals it set out to achieve. According to a survey by Pew Research, “About half of U.S. adults (51%) say they support the Black Lives Matter movement… but three years ago, following the murder of George Floyd, two-thirds expressed support for the movement. The survey also discussed how “a majority of Americans say the increased focus on issues of race and racial inequality in the past three years hasn’t led to changes that have improved the lives of Black people.” Why the shift?
For me, I was really excited when BLM came about. It was a turning point for Black people to get out and start protesting like our ancestors did, and to bring a wave of change to our nation. However, I have concerns now about the intentions of the organization and if the momentum and purpose is still the same? First off, there are two different organizations within BLM. There is Black Lives Matter, which is the name for the “modern civil rights movement” that is currently going on. Then you have Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation (BLMGNF), which is a separate entity that collects funds. Why do you need both?
In addition, what made me even more skeptical is when the organization purchased a $6 million dollar home in California (reports say around October 2020). For what? The organization claimed it was purchased to give Black creatives a space as their own and to use the house as a safe house for individuals who need it. If this is the case, why not purchase an office building for people to come and work out of? This makes me question where the money is going and how it is being spent. I have lost trust in this organization, and I think a lot of other individuals have to.
My other issue is that you really only hear about the organization when big news stories happen, and for me, if you’re going to be fighting issues about social justice, racial inequality, discrimination, etc.. That is a 24/7 job. That means this fight needs to happen all the time and not just when the cameras are rolling. I will say that this movement did start the fight and brought out issues that were not being heavily discussed. But I don’t think the meaningful change that was supposed to come from this organization has happened. We still have a lot of work to do.