Are we on the verge of a revolution?
In light of recent events, such as George Floyd’s murder, the Black Lives Matter movement has seen its support increase massively in the past few weeks. In fact, much more allies have recently joined this movement to fight against racism and police brutality towards the black community. Moreover, protests are taking place everywhere around the globe. It is not the first time that outrage and protests are heard on this level regarding the Black Lives Matter movement, but the state isolation (due to the Covid-19 pandemic) that the world has been forced into for the past months has helped the movement gain traction. Our society is now starting to notice the racism and discrimination that minorities are faced with on a daily basis. Could 2020 be the year that the black lives matter movement finally reaches its goal of living in a world where black people are no longer the target of systemic discrimination?
The black lives matter movement was founded in 2013 in reaction to the acquittal of George Zimmerman, the man who killed Travyon Martin, an unarmed African-American. Zimmerman was found not guilty. His main defense in court was that he acted out of self defense, but according to the recording of the 9-1-1 call, Zimmerman followed Martin because he felt Martin looked suspicious, and then proceeded to killing him. Over the years, there have been a number of similar cases, and most of these cases involved police brutality. Seven years later, the situation remains unchanged. Indeed, Ahmaud Arbery was killed in February while jogging, Breonna Taylor was killed by the police inside her own home in March, and George Floyd was killed two weeks ago for using a twenty dollar bill.
It seems that we are at the perfect momentum for this social change. Not only are we finally highlighting this issue in the public sphere, via protesting, sharing our thoughts on social medias, donating, debating, and signing/sharing petitions, but we also have seen direct actions following the protests. Indeed, the police officer who killed George Floyd was charged with second degree murder. It is also through those recent protests that the two men who killed Ahmaud Arberry were imprisoned. Last Friday night, the NFL commissioner announced that the NFL is now supporting players who knelt during the national anthem.
With all of this momentum building up, could 2020 be the year where we see real and concrete change happening ?