My dream is travelling around the world, visiting the countries of Europe, Asia and America. But in the summer of 2020, massive protests were taking place in America under the motto ‘Black lives matter”. People were aggressive, smashed shops, and spoke out against the police. They protested against racial discrimination and police brutality.
I decided to study this problem and understand what kind of movement it is and whether it is dangerous to travel around the world in our turbulent times.
First of all, let’s talk about racial discrimination. Racism is the belief that one’s race, skin color, religious, national or ethnic identity, is superior to others in humanity. In the 17th century the Europeans colonized North America. They brought Africans to America as slaves, kidnapped them from their homelands in various parts of Africa. A number of them were known to be royalty and literate. African men, women, and children were stripped of their names and identities, forced to “Christianize”, beaten, tortured, lynched or hanged at the whims of their white masters, for whom slavery was key to maintaining their vast properties and land. Families were separated through the process of buying and selling slaves. While not all Africans in America were slaves, a large number were, particularly in the southern states. For those Africans in America who were free, discriminatory laws that barred them from owning property and voting, for example, as well as the belief in the intrinsic inferiority of dark-skinned peoples by the dominant white majority, held them back from full equality in the United States.
Although slavery was ultimately outlawed and laws prohibiting discrimination against African-Americans passed, racism against this community remains and is manifested nowadays.
Police brutality against African Americans is a serious societal problem. It implies the use of unauthorized, illegal, unfair, unnecessary, and otherwise unwarranted violence or brutality by police officers against civilians, regardless if they are breaking the law or not. The issue has gained special prominence in recent years thanks to the numerous killings of young black people that have been perpetrated by police officers. The issue has gone so far that it has spurred various movements.
In 2013 Patrisse Khan-Cullors, Alicia Garza, and Opal Tometi formed the Movement Black Lives Matter (BLM). They did it after George Zimmerman, a man of German and Peruvian descent, was acquitted on charges stemming from his fatal shooting of Trayvon Martin, an unarmed Black teenager, in Sanford, Florida, in February 2012. Zimmerman, a neighbourhood-watch volunteer, had seen Martin walking in his neighbourhood and called the police because he thought Martin looked “suspicious.” Although police told Zimmerman not to do anything, he followed Martin, got into an argument with him, and shot and killed him. Zimmerman remained free for weeks after the shooting but was finally charged with second-degree murder and arrested in April, after demonstrations demanding his prosecution were held in cities across the United States. At his trial more than a year later, Zimmerman claimed that he had acted in self-defense. His acquittal in July 2013. His acquittal in July 2013 was widely perceived as a miscarriage of justice and led to nationwide protests with the use of the hashtag #BlackLivesMatter
The name Black Lives Matter signals condemnation of the unjust killings of Black people by police (Black people are far more likely to be killed by police in the United States than white people) and the demand that society value the lives and humanity of Black people as much as it values the lives and humanity of white people.
BLM activists have held large and influential protests in cities across the United States as well as internationally. A decentralized grassroots movement, Black Lives Matter is led by activists in local chapters who organize their own campaigns and programs. was widely perceived as a miscarriage of justice and led to further nationwide protests.
The BLM movement expanded in 2014 after the police killings of two unarmed Black men, Eric Garner and Michael Brown. Garner died in Staten Island, New York, after a white police officer held him in a prolonged illegal choke hold, which was captured in a video taken by a bystander. Brown, a teenager, was shot and killed by a white police officer in Ferguson, Missouri. Large protests of these deaths in the name of Black Lives Matter captured national and international attention. The BLM movement thereafter continued to play a prominent role in demonstrations against police brutality and racism. Notably, BLM activists protested the deaths at the hands of police or while in police custody of several other Black people, including Sandra Bland, Philando Castile, Freddie Gray, Laquan McDonald, Tamir Rice, Walter Scott, Alton Sterling, and Breonna Taylor.
In 2020 George Floyd, an unarmed Black man, was pronounced dead after a white Minneapolis police officer knelt on Floyd’s neck for several minutes, despite Floyd’s repeated protests that he could not breathe. Wide circulation of a bystander’s video of Floyd’s last minutes triggered massive demonstrations in cities throughout the United States and across the globe. The tragedy swayed U.S. public opinion in favour of the Black Lives Matter movement while drawing wide attention to the problem of entrenched racism in American society. An estimated 15 million to 26 million people participated in the 2020 Black Lives Matter protests in the United States, making it one of the largest movements in the country’s history.
The Black Lives Matter movement has many goals. BLM activists seek to draw attention to the many ways in which Black people are treated unfairly in society and the ways in which institutions, laws, and policies help to perpetuate that unfairness. The movement has fought racism through such means as political action, letter writing campaigns, and nonviolent protests. BLM seeks to combat police brutality, the over-policing of minority neighbourhoods, and the abuses committed by for-profit jails. Its efforts have included calls for better training for police and greater accountability for police misconduct. BLM activists have also called for “defunding” the police—that is, reducing police department budgets and investing the freed-up funds in community social services, such as mental health and conflict-resolution programs. BLM activists have also worked on voter registration and get-out-the-vote campaigns in Black communities. In addition, BLM programs have celebrated Black artists and writers.
The chapters are affiliated with the Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation are active not only in the United States, but in Canada and the United Kingdom. In Paris, people gathered at Place de la Concorde. There were peaceful protests. In Portugal, thousands joined protests in Lisbon, Porto and several other cities, shouting “black lives matter” and “I can’t breathe” in Portuguese and English. Antiracism protesters in Ireland staged a big rally outside the US embassy in Dublin and there were demonstrations in Galway and Limerick. There was also a large protest in Belfast, Northern Ireland. Hundreds of people marched peacefully in central Tokyo in solidarity with American protesters. In Australia fnd Brazil large crowds protested against brutality by police.
June 18, 2020 NEW YORK (AP) — The Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation has established a fund worth more than $12 million to aid organizations fighting institutional racism.
As we see the protests were against police, not against peaceful people or tourists. If we are tolerant, not aggressive and show our respect toward black people, it will be safe to travel abroad.
1. Listen Carefully Without Jumping to Conclusions
It’s really easy to blow someone off as soon as they strike up a conversation with you—almost like you’re mentally rolling your eyes even though you’re nodding politely. For once, listen to what they’re saying—really listen. Don’t be put off by their appearance or the fact that someone else told you they’re a little weird. Listen to them, at least for awhile—we all want to be heard.
2. Try to Understand the Other Person’s Point of View
Now that you’re listening to someone, resist the urge to totally discount what they’re saying because it sounds “funny” or “weird” to you. If you’re not totally sure the about point they’re trying to make, ask them questions. Try to understand what they’re telling you—maybe they aren’t getting their point across as clearly as they think they are.
3. Agree to Disagree
You might not agree with the person and their beliefs or opinions, and that’s okay. We’re all different. That definitely doesn’t mean you have to become best buddies and switch over to their way of thinking, but once you accept that it’s okay to “agree to disagree” it should be a lot easier to have discussions with people.
4. Don’t say “black people”, use more neutral “Afro-Americans”
Becoming more tolerant of others will allow you to get out of your comfort zone and possibly expand your social circle. You might realize that you really enjoy someone’s company—someone that you would have avoided if you hadn’t tried to listen to them and understand them.