WHY THE #BLACKLIVESMATTER MOVEMENT MATTERS

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African Americans launched the Civil Rights Movement; BlackLivesMatter will show the world that all lives matter

Technology! It has changed the dynamics of the world and the #BlackLivesMatter Movement has been a recent visible recipient of the technology integration by the world.

Republican Presidential candidate Huckabee said recently that Martin Luther King would be ashamed of the movement. Martin Luther King's son disagreed. Democratic Presidential Candidate Hilary Clinton was openly confronted by several leaders of the #BlackLivesMatters movement and the video went viral on youtube.com.

Reality check, presidential hopefuls are openly talking about the subject. News media are covering and reporting on its every move. Leaders of the movement are being attacked. The movement is not a defined group with a defined leadership, it's a movement and it has real legs. Millions of African Americans across all socioeconomic demographics support the concept, that #BlackLivesMatter. African-American's have known and lived with police brutality and injustice for our entire existence. While most whites have been comfortable with our society, African Americans and other people of color always look at the justice system and other elements of our society through a very difference lens.

Yes, All Lives Matter but just as the Civil Rights Movement was fueled by the likes of African Americans lead by Martin Luther King, Malcolm X and groups such as the Black Panthers, #BlackLivesMatter will ultimately make All Lives Matter, it is giving those who are disenfranchised a voice. With the light being shed on the injustices being perpetrated on African Americans and especially African American Males everyone in our society will benefit.

The difference is that technology has provided the vehicle to actually share in real time evidence of the brutality. Don't get me wrong, I believe that most police are people who care about the people they serve, but, it's the small percentage in most departments that allow those that do not deserve to be police violate All of Our rights. The abuse of power, trust and violation of our rights as Americans extends beyond African Americans; the abusers often violate others rights as well. But, the facts are that African Americans are disportationaly incarcerated, discriminated against and killed by the police in America and that is what ignited the movement.

We need to change the culture of the police departments and municipalities across this nation. Every citizen needs to be protected by our law enforcement and not live in a state of constant fear. Each citizen's rights need to be respected and every bad police officer, police department and municipality that does not or allows these things to happen must be held accountable. Economic sanctions, criminal convictions and civil action need to be the norm rather than the exception when people's rights are violated.

Companies that fail to realize that diversity is good for business and that any form of discrimination is unacceptable need to be held accountable as well. The only language that business understands is MONEY. So, when we see injustice take a stand, stop buying the company's products. Hit them where it hurts, the bottom line. Every American can make an impact; we can stand up for what's right, because not standing up for others erodes our own freedom.

#BlackLivesMatter is not a homogeneous group, African Americans cross all socioeconomic boundaries' and have a widely varied set of opinions, and experiences. It is not one of the 784 active hate groups in the United States, it is a call to action! African American's lives matter, the high school dropout rate matters, opportunities for higher education matter, opportunities for career access matter, opportunities for quality health care matter, the disparity in expulsions from schools matters, fair treatment in the justice system and incarceration matter, access to capital for our businesses matter ...

No one wants to see police officers killed except for criminals, but everyone wants a family, a job and the opportunity to Live the American Dream. That's Why The Black Lives Matter Movement matters and is here to stay. It will evolve in ways I can't even begin to imagine and make an impact on our society just like the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960's made an impact.

(Excerpt from " Reaching and Teaching African American Males. A Teacher's View." To be released January 2016).

Reginald Grant, Author & Culturally Inclusive Curriculum Specialist can be reached at eplaybook1@mindspring.com

www.rgrant.com  

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