UCLA Social movements Discussion
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The left image is from March 1968. That year, Martin Luther King Jr. traveled to Memphis — where he would later be assassinated — to lead the nonviolent march of African American sanitation workers on strike for equitable wages and improved working conditions.Links to an external site. The civil rights movement was moving towards the recognition of economic equality as a central component of full citizenship. The marchers carried placards inscribed “I AM A MAN.”
The right image is from May 2020. A man holds a Black Lives Matter sign in front of San Diego Police during a protest following the death of George Floyd, an unarmed black man, at the hands of police in Minneapolis.
1) All of the social movements we address in class have one underlying claim — claimsmakers making a plea for others to see and acknowledge their humanity. And, in seeing that humanity, to grant social, economic, and political equality. Consider the two photographs above and the movements they represent. Is the Black Lives Matter movement an extension of the Civil Rights Movement? Is it an entirely new and distinct movement? When thinking of social, economic, political equality for all, are we making progress or relapsing? Consider the claims of both movements to build your argument.
Please review the discussion question below, provide a response. Response posts should be 2-3 paragraphs. After you post your response, please reply to a post written by your fellow peers (you can provide more than one reply if you wish). You may have to log on at a later time to post your reply to another student’s post. Please be considerate in your posts and replies.
I would say the Black Lives Matter Movement is definitely an extension of the Civil Rights Movement. The goal of the Civil Rights Movement was to gain attention to abolish discrimination, institutional racism, and segregation against African Americans. During the time of the Civil Rights Movement, I would say progress was being made; for example, the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was passed due to the momentum and influence of the Civil Rights Movement. The Black Lives Matter movement is fighting for the same causes, especially institutional racism. The most common situation of institutional racism that disproportionately targets the Black community is racial profiling, which oftentimes leads to the death of an innocent person. The Black Lives Matter movement aims to bring attention to the injustice that is occurring and to bring justice to the countless victims of police brutality. I think we are relapsing in terms of social and economic equality. For example, while the Voting Rights Act of 1965 did outlaw discriminatory voting practices adopted in many southern states, modern day restrictions on voting are doing the exact opposite of what the act was outlawing. Southern states are now implementing strict restrictions on voting, for example requiring photo ID, which disproportionately affects Black voters, thus reducing voter turnout. Many people said it was like Jim Crow laws being implemented again, since the goal of these restrictions was to take away representation from the Black community. In my opinion, the United States is going to be stagnant in terms of reducing racial inequality and systematic racism for quite a while. Despite the efforts of movements like the Black Lives Matter movement, executive bodies of power are powerless in passing legislation that outlaws discrimination because both politcal parties must agree, and at this point in time, that is far from happening.
I believe the Black Lives Matter movement is an extension of the Civil Rights Movement, however, in some cases they are fairly different. This is primarily seen as the Civil Rights Movement aimed to end segregation laws, whereas the Black Lives Matter Movement aimed to reform structural reforms. Although this difference does play a role in the reason for both movements beginning, the movements both had similar goals and targets for which they were led. Both of these movements aimed to address struggles and injustices that Black Americans faced in the United States. While the Civil rights movement was aimed to address the struggle for social justice, the Black Lives Matter movement sought to address racism, discrimination and inequality experienced by black people. They both aimed to achieve political change in regards to African American individuals. Nonetheless, marchers in the Civil Rights Movement used the term: “I am a man” and in the Black Lives Matter Movement the term: “See and acknowledge my humanity” was the main claim. In a way both of these terms correlated by addressing how they are human, they are men, their color should not make them any less human or any less different than white individuals. Therefore, this leads me to believe that despite the differences being seen between the two movements, it can be seen how the BLM movement is an extension of the Civil Rights movement as they both aim to address injustices black individuals face through the use of marches, protests, and etc. I believe we are making progress as now more individuals are being informed and educated through the usage of the media. Before it may have been more difficult as they had to rely on newspapers and traditional news outlets to become informed of the message being spread during the Civil Rights Movement. However, for the Black Lives Matter Movement, it was spread and well known for the hashtag that began trending on social media. This allowed for more individuals to join the movement and become aware of the injustices facing black individuals in the US. After many years of the Civil Rights Movement ending segregation, we continue to see many black individuals experience police brutality leading to unfortunate deaths. It is a relapse in which black individuals continue to face such injustice, however, the deaths of these individuals are not forgotten but rather reinforce and influence individuals to see such injustices happening in the US leading to more joining the movement and advocating against discrimination many black individuals face.
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