Black Lives Matter groups release demands and the list includes reparations and eradicating the death penalty
Black Lives Matter is not just a concept, but also a movement. It’s not only a hashtag, but also an organization trying to enact change on the macro level in the United States. Since the phrase took off as a rallying cry for various groups, the patchwork of causes and goals has been a challenge to put together in one place. On Monday, that happened.
“In response to the sustained and increasingly visible violence against black communities in the U.S. and globally, a collective of more than 50 organizations representing thousands of black people from across the country have come together with renewed energy and purpose to articulate a common vision and agenda,” the initiative reads.
The platform includes six tenets: end the war on black people, economic justice, divest-invest, community control, political power and, perhaps most importantly, reparations. It’s that last word that will likely get most people talking, but the simple tasks of coming together on this effort is quite the accomplishment itself.
The question of “Who runs the movement?” is one that’s been used to discredit and divide the civil rights movement since its inception. With a specific call to action in place that more than 50 groups have formed through a coalition, the catch-all criticism of, “You don’t even know what you want,” doesn’t hold as much water.
— we have nothing to lose but our chains (@katrinalrogers) August 1, 2016
Two years ago, when The Atlantic‘s Ta-Nehisi Coates released his opus magazine series titled “The Case for Reparations,” it rocked the nation because so many people who considered themselves allies, woke or at least slightly more self-aware or educated than the average person, didn’t have as good of an understanding of economic disenfranchisement as they thought they did.
Slavery didn’t happen then suddenly end in a vacuum, thus suddenly leveling a playing field that never truly existed anyway. It set in motion the concept of white supremacy, financial inequality and overall discrimination that kept black folks poor by design, not happenstance.
Do these demands released Monday seem practical? If you’re asking yourself this question, you’re not taking a fair look at the nature of the problem. The initial offenses and systemic bigotry created a scenario in which any change from the status quo will by nature feel impractical if you are not affected the same way as another.
“Our hope is that this is both an articulation of our collective aspirations as well as a document that provides tangible resources for groups and individuals doing the work,” the platform’s website reads.”We recognize that some of the demands in this document will not happen today. But we also recognize that they are necessary for our liberation.”
Also, if you need a refresher course on a larger level, the glossary is as real as it gets.