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Why is the movement so popular now?
The Black Lives Matter movement has become popular for a multitude of reasons. With the COVID-19 pandemic continuing to take lives and keeping businesses closed, members of the movement have a captive audience to witness the birth of this new era. Instead of focusing on our own lives, we are forced to look at George Floyd’s murder: the spark that ultimately led to cries in protests for the removal confederate statues and the defunding of the police force.
Across the United States, confederate statues were built after the Civil War to honor war veterans of the Confederate States of America. To many, the statues also proved to be a symbol of the grand cause for the Confederacy: the continued enslavement of Africans. As a result of protests and legislation, many of these nearly 150 year old statues are being taken down because of the racism that they represent. Even in the United Kingdom, Black Lives Matter protesters have removed the statue of 17th-century slave trader Edward Colston and pushed it into the River Avon in Bristol.
In addition to calling for the removal of confederate statues, many Black Lives Matter protesters want to defund the police and create reforms to the policing system. They want the police to be held accountable for the lives of many African-Americans being taken away by police brutality. In order to create reform, the common cry is to defund the police in order to force them to invest in black communities and resources to help black people. The protesters want a radical change to end systemic racism in the police force.
What can you do to help?
The goal of the Black Lives Matter movement is to put an end to systemic racism and police brutality. The movement calls for equality, justice, and freedom for black people who have been oppressed for centuries. Saying “black lives matter” does not negate “all lives matter.” It means that all lives can’t matter until black lives do. If you would like to aid the movement from home, you can educate yourself, sign petitions, support black-owned businesses, and donate to black relief funds.
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