We have reached a critical point in the movement.
According to a recent study by the Pew Research Center, a majority of Americans across racial and ethnic groups, support the Black Lives Matter movement. The increase in support just over the past two weeks is nearly as much as it was in the past two years, and it doesn’t stop there. The study also shows an increase in Americans who believe Black people are more likely to be treated unfairly by law enforcement, an increase in families having race-related discussions and a decrease in support for the police.
For the first time in decades, Americans can agree on one thing, there is a race problem in this country.
Black people have faced police brutality in the United States for centuries. None of this is new. What has changed is the backdrop in which people are seeing new stories arise.
With the coronavirus still raging across the world, and people still under quarantine, there is no escaping the videos, images and stories of Black and Brown people being brutalized. Those who had the luxury of ignorance no longer have it. Neutrality is no longer an option. Everyone is faced with a choice: make a statement voicing your support for the movement to save Black lives or choose the side of the oppressor.
In the philosophy of author and scholar Ibram X. Kendi, there is no such thing as “not racist.” You are either racist or anti-racist. The majority of Americans have chosen to be anti-racists.
We’ve got the support. We’ve got more funding than ever. Perhaps most importantly, we’ve got the attention of those in power. Lawmakers across the country are looking for ways to implement change, whether that be on the city or state level. Some are driven by fear of protests or social media backlash against their leadership, both proven to be extremely effective tactics. Others have based their campaigns on promises of justice reform and are taking advantage of the momentum to actually follow through. Either way, the public pressure that comes with widespread attention is not to be underestimated.
It will not last forever.
The next steps the movement takes might just be it’s most critical. Publicity must translate to policy changes. Riots must translate to reform. The majority of Americans that now support Black Lives Matter must also support the laws that will uphold the meaning of the movement. They must now vote for the city council members, district attorneys, senators, governors and presidents that uphold the meaning of the movement.
In today’s episode, Shaun breaks down the grave importance of this new study and what we must do with the limited window of time we have to make lasting revolutionary changes in America.