Focusing on the black lives

The Black Lives Matter movement should be set apart from the Blue Lives Matter and All Lives Matter movements.


Illustration by Ellie Grever

by Editorial Board, Ellie Grever, and Kate Jones

The Black Lives Matter movement is campaigning against violence and systemic racism towards black people. The movement was established by three women, Alicia Garza, Opal Tometi and Patrisse Cullors after the death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin in 2012. From the Black Lives Matter movement stemmed many other movements that opposed the original goal of the Black Lives Matter movement such as “All Lives Matter” and “Blue Lives Matter.” While it’s true everyone’s lives matter, it is the black lives being targeted.

In a response to the Black Lives Matter movement, the Blue Lives Matter movement was founded. The goal of Blue Lives Matter campaign found on their official website is “to honor and recognize the actions of law enforcement to strengthen the public support.” Although law enforcement is to be respected, it is hard to support a movement that supports lives that aren’t being targeted. The Blue Lives Matter movement doesn’t offer an explanation to the lives that have been lost in the Black Lives Matter community and with the continuance of the violence that constantly threatens America, the movement doesn’t offer a solution either.

Another response to the Black Lives Matter movement is the All Lives Matter movement, where not only just black lives matter but every race and life matters. The overarching argument for All Lives Matter is justified but all lives are not being treated as they matter. In a recent census provided by the The Washington Post, it found that police officers have shot and killed the exact same number of unarmed white people as unarmed black people, 50 each. But because the white population is approximately five times larger than the black population this means unarmed black Americans are five times more likely than unarmed white Americans to be shot and killed by a police officer. Everyone’s lives do matter but it’s those being targeted that are trying to raise awareness of statistics such as these that prove that the number being targeted is unjust.

The Black Lives Matter movement has faced backlash since its founding, and this isn’t the first time protests have been portrayed negatively. During the Civil Rights Movement, a recent survey compiled by the Roper Center for Public Opinion Research at Cornell University shows that in the 1960s, a majority of Americans believed that such protest actions would hurt and not help African Americans’ fight for equality. But today we see those who lead the Civil rights movement protests as heroes, will it take us another 50 years to see the leaders of Black Lives Matter as heroes as well?

Black Lives Matter is a movement fighting racism and establishing awareness of injustices in this country. The movement is giving America a hard truth that needs to be accepted as a problem and solved.

Right on Target by Kate Jones