Civil Rights vs. Black Lives Matter Movement
After learning about the Civil Rights Movement in the United States, I have a better understanding of the current protests in the country. I believe that the current Black Lives Matter movement is comparable to the Civil Rights Movement in various respects. One of the similarities between the two movements is the police brutality against blacks. In both cases, African Americans are fighting against a police system that has embraced the use of brute force against people of color when making their arrests. The law stipulates that a suspect is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. However, the police have been treating black suspects as criminals. Another common factor is the fight against a government system that does not respect the life of a black person, especially black men.
During the Civil Rights Movement, leaders such as Malcolm X lamented that the number of African Americans losing their lives at the hand of police officers was more than those killed by criminal gangs. The same inhuman police practice was the cause of the current protests in the United States. On May 25, 2020, Derek Chauvin, Alexander Kueng, Thomas Lane, and TouThao arrested George Floyd in Minneapolis, Minnesota. After subduing the suspect, Derek knelt on the suspect’s neck for over 8 minutes for no apparent reason. Floyd explained that he could not breathe and begged for his life, but the officer did not budge until he died, as the other officers watched and ensured that civilians did not intervene. These were the same things that King and X fought against.
During the Civil Rights Movement times, systemic discrimination and racism were rampant in the United States. The same is what the current Black Lives Matter movement is fighting against. Blacks are often viewed with suspicion. Recently, a white officer, responding to a call about an open door within the neighborhood, shot and killed a black woman in her bedroom. Leaders of this movement explained that she was in her house playing with her son, and the only reason that led to her death was the fact that she was black. These are the challenges that people of color had to endure prior to, during, and even after the Civil Rights Movement.