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The Racial Divide Between Police and #BlackLivesMatter

Updated: Aug 5, 2019

Other than the current Commander in Chief's racial rhetoric, what is really causing the racial divide between the police and African-American people?

Photo by Vlad Tchompalov

Unarmed African-American men being killed by police and N.W.A.'s popular song "F* Tha Police" are only the surface of what is culturally wrong with police brutality.

The #BlackLivesMatter movement attempts to shed light on the injustice African-American people routinely face in the eyes of law enforcement.

Police officers are responsible for killing hundreds of unarmed black people yearly. Several high profile cases, like the one following the death of Michael Brown, result in the homicidal officer receiving little to no legal consequences. By implicitly giving officers permission to kill black people, it has ignited a movement in an attempt to reconstruct the value of African-Americans to the judicial system.

"It is fuelled by grief and fury, by righteous rage against injustice and institutionalised racism and by frustration at the endemic brutality of the state against those it deems unworthy."

-Elizabeth Day, "#BlackLivesMatter: the birth of a new civil rights movement"

The misconstrued perception of invaluable black lives is partially rooted in the early American stereotypes of black people in an attempt to label them inferior.

As a result of the stereotypes being referenced in the informative documentary, Ethnic Notions, racist Americans are attempting to uphold these ill-constructed standards while many black Americans are working to reshape these exaggerated myths. The Black Brute stereotype is rooted in law enforcement's unjust treatment of black men in America. Black men are perceived as innately stronger and less responsible than their white counterparts, unlawfully justifying white men slaughtering and profiling unarmed black men.

The more black men are justifiably murdered in the court of law, the greater the divide between black lives and law enforcement.

Police officers are trained to shoot and kill citizens who are threatening their lives and the lives of others but have managed to abuse their power in the form of legal modern genocide, identifying brown skin as an innate threat.

White Americans are protected by and use the law to enforce dominion while African-Americans fear for their lives in the presence of law enforcement.

This constructed fear is detrimental to the physical, emotional, and mental safety of black lives, causing a race war among white officers and black citizens.

Source: Day, Elizabeth. “#BlackLivesMatter: the Birth of a New Civil Rights Movement.” The Guardian, Guardian News and Media, 19 July 2015, www.theguardian.com/world/2015/jul/19/blacklivesmatter-birth-civil-rights-movement.

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