Through out history African-Americans have suffered many racial discrimination problems. This essay provides nowadays thinking and various ways of seeing the issue. It also explains how at the present time this still a problem. I have also focused on the policeman matter and the debate that exists.
My question is what does the black lives matter and the blue lives matter movements tell us about American society nowadays?
There are two movements which can show many messages of American society nowadays. Firstly there is Black Lives Matter which is a movement and an “organization whose mission is to build local power and to intervene in violence against black communities by the United States”. On the other hand there is a movement and an organization which appeared as a response to the black lives matter that is called Blue Lives Matter which is a media company founded and run by active former and retired law enforcement officers their mission is to support law enforcement.
The black lives matter are now very affected and trying to fight against police shooting to black. People who are not necessarily infringing the law. They believe that there is racial inequality and that police act unfairly because they kill many more black people more brutally. This shows that there still are racial problems in the United States as there have been for all their history. We can evaluate some statistics numbers form the Guardian newspaper following the numbers there is more that twice black people being killed by police that white. To be more precise in 2016 the rate of black people being killed by police per million residents was 6.64 and of white people its 2.9. With this statistics we could argue that it has nothing to do with racism it could be that black people transgress more the law, but on the other hand as the black lives matter argue, there is a racism problem over there because policemen see them as an attack or see them in a more aggressive way and more threatening just because of their skin color and this is a clear racial problem.
The origin of nowadays racial problems started in the secession war that started in the 1861 and lasted till 1864. This war a division between the north part of the unite states and the south part of it. The north was fighting for the abolition of the slavery due to the fact that they had a great economy based on the industry and the trade and the had this ideas because they basic necessities where covered , and they did not have the necessity of slavery. The south of the united states worked mainly on agriculture and land and they thought they needed them and they were better off because they didn’t have to pay the slaves which were all black people. Here the racism starts because black people were before slaves and now there is a debate and they are becoming citizens with the same rights and which were at the same level that white people so , many white people started discriminating them.
2.1. Civil rights movement
Civil rights is another very significant movement that could help to answer my question. Civil rights is a movement which emerged in 1954. Its goal was to eradicate racial problems and discrimination against the African American community. It started at Montgomery Alabama when a black women called Rosa Parks denied to give her seat to a white person this leaded to a boycott to the buses, the bus driver called the police and she was arrested for violating the laws of racial segregation of the State of Alabama. After he boycott the black leaders who new about this started a huge collective policy against the laws of racial segregation one of the most important Martin Luther King and others , which made advances o this way of thinking and had a strong repercussion. Some of the following are examples Martin Luther King contributed to :Civil Rights Act of 1964 – This banned discrimination in employment and public accommodations based on “race, color, religion, or national origin”. Voting Rights Act of 1965 – This act restored and protected the right to vote. Immigration and Nationality Services Act of 1965 – This allows immigration from groups other than those from the traditional European countries.Fair Housing Act of 1968 – This banned housing discrimination for sales or rentals. As we can see 10 years later the first law was approved so they fought a huge time for it . All black and some white people fought for the civil rights with different little oppositions to the black segregation, as for example the Greensboro etc. This movement was ended with the murder of Martin Luther King in 1968.
2.2. Police shooting and Black Lives Matter
The recording on police shooting to black people has being a main issue for the United States.
Is there a clear relation between police shooting and race? Is racism still a main problem in the United States? Well, here we have various examples to answer with .
Firstly when Michael Brown was a teenager, he was shot by a policeman on the 9th of august of 2014 because he hit the policeman. The policeman went to arrest them for alleged theft. This shot leaded again to tensions considering whether this was racism or not. There are two main versions on this particular case. On the one hand we have got what policeman who said that Michael Brown tried to get the weapon from the policeman and that was why they shotted him. On the other hand we have some of his familiars version and some people who were there while all this was happening, and they argue that he surrendered and that he raise his hands as a sign that he was surrendered.
It has being proved that Michael Brown didn’t have just one shot he had 6 and one of them in the head which shows violence and the brutality when killing him. The policeman who killed him was never indicted, so all this killing form police are not even investigated to indict them if they were wrong. This permits them kill many people and this increases violence in the United States.
If this is considered as racism, the country has not changed and white people minds still have this racism thought and education on their heads. Racism is an issue that has being there for the past three hundred years and one of its real beginnings was after the civil war they started applying some laws which discriminated black people. Something that has being in peoples minds for that long its very hard to change it and as we can see nowadays this way of thinking it still there.The justification for killing is that the officers are “just doing their jobs” and all in all when its a black person they tend to kill more easily than if its a white one. Why does this occur, maybe its because they see them as people which dio not form part of their “family” and throughout the history they have more anger for black people because of all what happened in the past and because they have been slaves of white people so they deserve a higher respect to them than anyone else.
Trying to explain this phenomena and different movements it is coherent to explore black´s people points of view towards white people and how do they feel in different situations. By basing myself in the book Between the world and me , we can see how black people actually suffer discrimination. The book gives the idea of the main character which is based on the black body , and how they feel that they are a threat to white people , because just the skin color for white people is violent. So black people feel frustrated due to the fact that they can not get out of that body in all of their lives and also are very vulnerable and defenseless towards the society.
2.3. Rise of blue lives matter and all lives matter
The blue lives matter has being a response to the black lives matter movement which gives a strong identity to some of the white police officers and they all believe in the idea that they are police even when their uniforms are off and that they have the idea that the police are being persecuted and accused, and they have created this movement to protect themselves from society.
The fundamental difference between the blue lives matter and the black lives matter is that the blue lives matter show indices of racism thoughts. We have few examples
3. The Artifacts
I will analyze a few important artifacts and their effects on society.
Firstly, the different apparels of the movement and what they symbolize. Secondly, all the advertisements and propaganda; and lastly the insignias of the blue lives matter and what they tell us about society nowadays.
These images and symbols are relevant to the present American society because they inform us about how the United Sates’ racial issues and they different types of controversial debates and disputes. We can see this is a problem which has had a very long trajectory over history and which has not been eradicated yet from this country.
Moreover, it let’s us know also how the culture imposes onto society some values and ways of thinking which pass over from generation to generation. This way of thinking may take centuries to change in order to remodulate society into a much more open-minded one with no discrimination at all.
The artifacts will be separated into three different subcategories: patriotic iconography, military iconography and religious iconography.
Fashion line what artifacts did you find why you have devcided this why is it relevant
3.2. Types of iconography
Now we can explore three different categories of different messages this clothing and objects can give us:
The first one we can explore is patriotic iconography which gives a patriotic positive or negative point of view of American situation, it can discriminate some groups of people or it can get all American citizens overall and as a general idea means the iconography which represents the United States of America as a holistic way and showing people´s devotion for their country.
On the one hand in figure one I explored the main image and logo of the blue lives matter which is an American flag with only two colors these being black and blue. This American flag can represent how the blue lives matter discredits black people by assuming they don’t love America as much as them and they also show the idea of patriotism and when we analyze it and go back to one of the main points which is police man shooting to black people with this flag they are excluding black people and making them think they don’t behave correctly and thats why they get shot.
And here it comes the idea that white people are the “real Americans” and the only ones who really love their country. We can see the colors used are just black and blue which are very aggressive colors and they restrict them to just two. It can also show the idea of hard power and strict.
In many cases the battle flag of the army of Tennessee appears a lot representing the white lives matter movement which can show a message of power and of war and to be more precise , civil war which was a war between different sides on the same country, which can mean the separation between white citizens and black, and trying to show the difference and by doing that they actually are creating some sort of war or disputes.
They have other logos with different ideas towards the issue. On the other hand on figure three is not simply a logo supporting police officers we can observe that they are arguing that policemen are live safer for everyone meaning black and white people and are kind of “heroes”. This deeper message is very meaningful because we can see how its trying to make a united country. On this advertisement we can see the logo which in this case is much more peaceful one. At the bottom we observe this #thankblu showing again this gratitude to police officers.
To continue with we enter into another category that is military iconography. There are various logotypes symbols and insignias that try to show fear and demonstrate the violence . On figure 4 we can see the the spartan helmet and the American flag with the blue line dividing it into two, its represented with a silver metallic color with war spots.The Spartan Helmet shows their role of though, harsh and violent group. The importance of using this object explicitly is the history of the spartans and brings up the idea of being vicious and aggressive. They use the helmet because is a way of showing that there are two sides black and white Americans and makes people unconsciously take black people as if they were evil or dangerous they associate all this violent ideas with black people.
The last one is religious iconography
3.3 Discussion and Analysis
Link the artifacts to society , secondary sources what have other people said about the reaction to black lives matter , white reactions , my opinion and why.
What the artifacts tell me
Other ways white people reactions.
Tenancy Coates against the view of Cornel west.
Some solutions to all this could be having more diversity of race in the police force
Increase cross racial engagement
Teach from young age racial prejudices
Thorough investigation of the police shooting when a person is killed by them.