Ethnic Studies Review

Ethnic Studies Review


Scott Loken

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Ethnic Studies Review



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Black Lives Matter Special Issue


This paper discusses the Black Lives Matter movement, it’s brief history and relevance, and the problem with the response of All Lives Matter and how it is misleading. It discusses incidents leading up to the initial Social Media hashtag and how the statement took off as a rallying cry in response to any incident which seemed to be racially motivated, especially in situations where police officers were involved resulting in the death of African American citizens. This article examines how the organization was first developed in response to the killing of Trayvon Martin by George Zimmerman and his acquittal of murder charges in the resulting court case in 2013. Additionally, I discuss the media and conservative backlash in response to the group’s activities, and examine the criticisms of their actions, even trying to claim the Black Lives Matter organization itself should be considered a hate group. My paper comes from the perspective of a white male disgusted with modern racism having been a lifelong student of the Civil Rights and Black Liberation Movements while growing up in the diverse and politically charged atmosphere of Berkeley, CA and its surrounding Bay Area. Having been influenced and inspired by the powerful and socially conscious lyrics of Hip Hop of the late 80s through the 90s, I bring a unique voice to the conversation of current race relations.