On November 4, 2008 Barack Obama became the first black president of the United States. For a moment, to those who had elected him, it had appeared that America had progressed into a country where racism and discrimination had no longer existed.
They would soon come to realize that America’s white supremacy organizations had rebranded themselves with new names. And the old racist systems of the past had evolved into a new, more sophisticated one.
And further examination of the financial crisis, exposed inequalities of Pay between whites and blacks, predatory lending practices targeting them, and higher unemployment rates. All this showed that with all the progress that blacks had made in America they were still being treated as 2nd class citizens.
There were also Tensions among police and the black community. Resulting from brutality and harassment that police had been inflicting on the black community for decades.
White Americans who had a different experience with police found it hard to imagine. They often accepted the police’s version of the incident. Also the National media, who blacks once depended on to shine light on such injustice, appear to be no longer interested in reporting police brutality complaints.
This would all change as a new generation of youth, tired of the harassment and brutality, took action. And because of the new technology of "Social Media", they did not need traditional news organizations. They also had another powerful tool, “Smartphones” equipped with cameras and internet access. Armed with these new weapons, youth through out the country began capturing video of police misconduct and brutality.
As disturbing videos of excessive force and shootings of unarmed men began circulating Social Media, major news outlets were forced to start reporting on them. Many Americans were shocked by what they saw. But Police departments and conservatives pundits asked the public not to rush to conclusions, they were told these images and video didn’t show the full stories, and began defending the officers actions.
While the misconduct that were capture sparked a national debate, it failed to lead to any firing or arrest. Instead the officers involved receive light punishments by being put on temporary Desk duty or paid leave.
Young people who were frustrated by the slow response of the current black organizations decided to form a new organization that would respond more effectively to the police shootings and injustice happening in America.
Black Lives Matters began organizing rallies across the country. They blocked traffic, disrupted business activity, encouraged school walk outs. They demanded justice and real investigations calling for the justice department to investigate the cases.
Ultra Conservatives tried to discredit
Black Lives Matter by calling it an anti-police movement and labeling them a terrorist organization. But the organization did not fold. Energized by young people from all backgrounds, who dubbed themselves the “Woke” generations, continued to rally around the “Black Lives Matter” movement, never losing momentum. As the shooting continued, so did the rallies and pressure.
The debate entered every segment of America, including entertainment and sports, with many celebrities and athletes showing support for the movement. Protest by black players in the NFL, drew the most attention as they began kneeling on one knee during the National Anthem.
As media attention grew worldwide, so did public pressure, and eventually police departments began releasing more dash cam footage of these incidents and more thorough investigations. The new investigations revealed falsified reports by police, inconsistencies in the officers statements, and damaging footage of further police misconduct. This lead to police officers being put on trial, police chiefs being replaced, and police departments adopting new procedures, such as requirement of officers to wear body cams.
Defining Racial Moments In Obama’s Presidency
The History of Black Lives Matter
Take A Knee: The Movement That Divided America
is the founderr, editor, and lead developer of MyUrbanVibez.com