Let me begin by stating I fully support the freedom of speech and legal rights provided in this country.
Said protections secured Bryan Stascavage, a sophomore economics major at Wesleyan University, who voiced his opinion on the Black Lives Matter Movement.
He should, by all means, be able to voice his opinion on any topic he pleases, regardless of the ignorance of his contradictions or his inability to do thorough research.
I thought I would clarify that before another article is published on why the dangerous hate group, “Black Lives Matter,” refuses to support the Bill of Rights.
For those of you who haven’t read the article, I’ll summarize it for you.
Stascavage’s article is an uninformed argument on why “Black Lives Matter Isn’t What You Think It Is” based on the acts of a minute group of radicals. Stascavage broadly generalized incidents he decided to attribute to BLM.
I’m honestly confused as to why this article got so much national attention, as if BLM isn’t accustomed to disputants.
The joke is that if Stascavage had taken 10 minutes to Google “what Black Lives Matter stands for,” and found an official source prior to writing this article, he could’ve saved himself a lot of time and obfuscation.
What he doesn’t understand is while Black Lives Matter takes a strong stance against police brutality, it also fight for LGBTQA+ equality, education reform, mass incarceration reform, reproductive rights and against the criminalization of immigrants.
I’m speaking on this topic firsthand per a discussion session with one of the creators of BLM, Alicia Garza, in addition to researching the official terms of the BLM movement.
Stascavage’s argument is nothing new of the typical response of many uninformed, frustrated citizens who want “all lives” to matter. What he doesn’t understand is that we’re all on the same page.
The Black Lives Matter movement wants all lives to matter.
In the beginning of the piece, Stascavage references “a police chief who made his remarks after one of his officers was shot and killed.” The chief claimed that Black Lives Matter was responsible for the officer’s death.
Remarks like this are the premise of Stascavage’s entire argument that BLM “isn’t what you think it is” and in other words, a negative movement.
A quote from a police officer who said he “thinks” this movement is to blame for one shooting is now the credible basis for Stascavage’s argument? Meanwhile, hypothetically, a man can be unarmed, attacked and shot on video by the federal government, but it’s simply not enough evidence for an arrest.
Stascavage claims, “following the Baltimore riots, the city saw a big spike in murders,” with no further explanation.
First and foremost, every “rioter” is not a representation of the BLM movement.
Second, who says that the rioters are purely to blame? Perhaps we should look at the root of the riots in Baltimore: the distrust of the police force, and the recent killings of several unarmed black citizens by the police, with no further or logical explanation of events.
Obviously Stascavage needs to research the other side of his argument. Simply put, we’re not a hateful movement; we just want equality.
Stascavage writes: “Good officers, like the one I talked to, go to work every day even more worried that they won’t come home.”
To counter this, perhaps Stascavage and this officer should be thinking of ways to improve the transparency of the police force, and gaining the trust of those whom they’re “policing,” rather than quickly opposing a movement that’s ultimate goal is equality.
He writes on the movement: “They need to stand with police units that lose a member, decrying it with as much passion as they do when a police officer kills an unarmed civilian.”
I would never condone or celebrate the killing of an innocent officer, and neither would those who truly understand and support the Black Lives Matter movement. However, why aren’t men like Stascavage asking the same questions to police?
It’s time we ask the real questions.
Why aren’t police making more of an effort to understand and support this movement? Why are some so protective of the police force, but not an innocent, unarmed man’s life?
Stascavage uses gay marriage as a comparative example of Republicans unwilling to speak up when it comes to these issues.
He writes, “If we had [spoken up], gay marriage might have been legalized years ago. I got the feeling that a lot of moderate conservatives were afraid of speaking up about the issue and being labeled as RINO (Republican In Name Only).”
So, caring about LGBTQA+ and black lives excludes you from the Republican party, and that’s why some conservatives refuse to support marriage equality and BLM?
We need to ask these questions, because we need everyone to be a part of this movement. In short, we need more diversity in the makeup of BLM, because we want all races to understand that this movement is about more than black lives.
Black people (I hope) for the most part, know that black lives matter, but why is that so difficult for other groups to accept?
Why must we always be opposed with “all lives matter,” or “police lives matter?” They do, but “all lives matter” is not the basis of this movement. Garza stated during her discussion “When black lives matter … all lives will matter.”
Think about that.
I do have to acknowledge Stascavage for stating, “You can’t judge an entire movement off the actions of a few extremists,” despite that ironically being the entire basis of his argument on why BLM “isn’t what you think it is.”
He clearly wrote this solely for the sake of his logical credibility, which is really lacking at this point.
Obviously, and unfortunately, we still have a long way to go before #BlackLivesMatter in this country.
However, we shouldn’t angrily respond to articles such as “Why Black Lives Matter Isn’t What You Think It Is” but rather use them to epitomize the incredulous mindset of those trying to shoot us down … no pun intended.
Featured Photo Credit: Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.
Racquel Royer is a freshman journalism major and may be reached at Royer.email@example.com.