Behavioral assessment of the role BLM currently occupies and forecasting the role it will have.
Black Lives. Here we go again. Another person killed due to the color of their skin, for no reason! The same thing keeps happening year after year….death on top of death….crime on top of crime…injustice on top of injustice. The guilty being proven innocent. Anger, rage, fear, sadness, nausea, hopelessness, helplessness. This isn’t the first “episode” of unfairness and mistreatment. There’s a history of these afflictions that lies within the roots of black culture, from slavery to Jim Crow, from Rodney King to Trayvon Martin. Trayvon being the catalyst to action, empowerment, advocacy, hope, and humanization. Thus, the birth of Black Lives Matter.
Fast-forward to Fall 2016. Here comes, “Make America Great Again.” For who? Here we go again. Those same feelings of anger, rage, fear, sadness, nausea, hopelessness, helplessness. Same mentality, different time period. Do Black Lives still matter? What platform do they take now? What grounds do they have to stand on in this Trump era? Well, it’s a similar platform as they had before when they took a stand against what was perceived as unfair. Yet, it’s now coupled with action, empowerment, advocacy, hope, and humanization. Here’s why: BLM not only represents the liberation of innocent lives being taken through unnecessary acts of violence but it also represents the liberation of those who have been marginalized along the way. “Black Lives Matter affirms the lives of Black queer and trans folks, disabled folks, black-undocumented folks, folks with records, women and all Black lives along the gender spectrum.” (blacklivesmatter.com)
Support and advocacy for disregarded individuals will appear nonexistent, based on the lack of tact our new president displays when verbalizing his intentions regarding certain populations (we all know who he has talked about). With this being said, it is up to BLM to keep the torch lit and be the appropriate representation and model for change and recovery in the nation. That means BLM should maintain a solution-focused agenda. An agenda where intentional goals are made based on a futuristic timeline. Let’s think about it, and ask ourselves, “In 10 years, what do we want to be different? What would we have liked to change?” BLM’s motto concludes with, “When Black people get free, everybody gets free.” This concept reflects broadening the understanding of BLM, becoming allies with those who are oppressed, and then others adopting strategies of the movement to apply within other targeted issues such as women’s rights and LGBT injustices.
Someone has to do it, and why not BLM? The emotional and mental impact has become far too large at this point. Firsthand trauma arises due to experiencing injustices, and secondary (indirect) trauma is induced while watching them. Some have reoccurring and pessimistic thoughts about the world and flashbacks. Some are fearful when around police officers, and some experience hyper-vigilance, etc. This can’t be healthy for our people. On top of the shock, uncertainty and fear associated with the results of this past presidential election, the next 4 years could possibly impact health, housing, finances, and more.