Black Lives Matter

Riot officers arrest Ieshia Evans, a citizen protesting against the death of Alton Sterling, a young Afro-American man who was shot dead by police in Baton Rouge (Louisiana) July 2016. (Jonathan Bachman / Reuters)

The Black Lives Matter movement condemns the violence and discrimination that still exists against black people.

More than half a century ago, Martin Luther King led the fight to defend the civil rights of the Afro-American population. They were troubled times, with demonstrations, protests and many confrontations between the defenders of racial equality and the people against it.

Finally, in 1964, the Civil Rights Law was approved, putting an end to racial segregation which divided whites and blacks in public places: schools, restaurants, transport, hospitals … A year later, the law for the Right to Vote allowed the black to vote.

Those were very important advances at that time. However, decades later, racial inequality remains a serious issue in the United States.

Always less

The US defines itself as “the land of opportunities“, where anyone can succeed no matter who you are or where you’re from.

However, various studies show that, on average, the white population is richer and has a higher salary than the black. This situation affects the well-being of families and their quality of life, also the education their children receive.

For example, black students have more chances of failing or being expelled at schools, but less options to get a college degree.

Black students take longer to graduate and get shorter and cheaper options for college. (NCES)

But one of the worst things about racial inequality is the violence of the police against the black population.

When discrimination turns into violence

In recent years, there have been multiple cases of black people who have died by police shootings. In most of these incidents, the police had fired without checking whether they were really criminals or in fact dangerous.

The Black Lives Matter association was created in 2013, after a judge acquitted white policeman George Zimmerman for the death of black teenager Trayvon Martin, whom Zimmerman had shot while Martin was unarmed.

#BlackLivesMatter Hashtag became viral in the US. The aim of this movement is to draw attention to police violence against black people that often occurs arbitrarily.

Just like the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) which Martin Luther King used to collaborate, Black Lives Matter organizes protests, boycotts and demonstrations to condemn the situation that the black population is living.

In August of 2014 another case of racial violence took place: the death of the young black man Michael Brown by shots of Darren Wilson, a white policeman. This case caused serious disturbances in Ferguson, where it happened.

The last case of police violence was just a few days ago: March 18, police in Sacramento (California) shot 20 times against Stephon Clark, because they confused his mobile phone with a gun.

Police disproportionate action and, above all, the fact that many of the accused police officers end up acquitted, makes many people in the US question the actions taken by the authorities.

#martinlutherking #civilrights #equality

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Translated by Chaplin’s Languages | Find out more in Junior Report

 

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