How the BLM Movement Has Pivoted From Its Failures

The Breakdown with Shaun King

Shaun King & Kendi K
Aug 4, 2020 - 4:47

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Nearly every person of color in America has a case of police brutality that will stay with them forever. 

It may be because the picture of the victim reminded them of their brother, cousin, friend or of themselves. 

It may be because the video was so graphic they could never shake it from their memory. 

It may have no reason at all other than the fact that it just hit them the hardest. 

That’s just the truth of living in this country. Your life can be affected by cases of police violence you witness or the hashtags of names you should not know that you repost on social media.  

When the Black Lives Matter movement first began, much of its work involved advocating for victims of police brutality and ensuring their cases were brought to court. Everyone held a certain level of naivety that could also be called hope, or faith, in America’s justice system. The majority of people genuinely believed that with a story like Eric Garner’s, which seemed so cut and dry andcame with such a heartbreaking  video of his plea of “I can’t breathe,”, a jury would have no choice but to indict the police officers with murder. 

We didn’t yet know that the justice system was not only broken, but actively working against us.

So we tried again.

And again.

And again. 

With Mike Brown and Sandra Bland and Tamir Rice and countless others, we convinced ourselves their cases would finally be the one the government could not ignore. The police misconduct, the brutality, was so apparent it could not be swept under any rug. Unfortunately, we realized justice would not, could not, be achieved this way. 

In America, awareness of a problem does not guarantee any degree of change. 

Many began realizing that justice could not be demanded from the current people in power. They needed to be replaced, along with the system as a whole.

So that’s what Shaun and his team began to do. 

In today’s episode, Shaun shares a very important lesson from his new book “Make Change” on how we must not only learn from our failures, but use them to pivot towards something new. 

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