Black Lives Matter Group Outlines Movement’s Goals

Since the killing of Trayvon Martin, a renewed outcry for social justice in the black American community has only continued to grow, culminating in the chorus usually referred to as the Black Lives Matter movement.

When demonstrations and marches first began, critics of Black Lives Matter were quick to criticise these activists for a lack of leadership and a clearly defined mission. In the time since, Black Lives Matter, though not a singular group, has come to find various individuals to rally around, people such as Deray Mckesson.

One organization involved in the Black Lives Matter movement has gone so far as to make a carefully authored list of policy goals, which is a first. The Movement for Black Lives, as they are known, have outlined in detail six points for change. Let’s take a look at what they are.

End the War on Black People

This deals not just with the transparently biased criminal justice system — which demonstrably affects black Americans disproportionately — but with the way Black youths are socially conditioned to be considered criminal, through school policies like “zero tolerance.”

This also means, among other things, the end of the privatization and militarization of law enforcement, drastic incarceration reform, the end of fee-based bail and the abolition of capital punishment.

Reparations

To account for centuries of injustice against black people, the Movement for Black Lives argues that the American government has an obligation to provide all black Americans with a minimum livable wage, a reformed public education system that addresses injustice and wholly subsidized higher education access for all black Americans.

This also includes monetary compensation from both the federal government and corporations that have benefited from the exploitation of people of color.

Invest-Divest

In this, the aim is to have money and resources expended on the unjust policing and incarceration of black Americans redirected into more socially productive programs.

These suggestions include the formation of a truly universal health care program that serves all Americans, the decriminalization of all drugs and prostitution (and to nullify prior convictions for these offenses) and to move money from the massive military budget and fossil fuel industries into subsidized education and infrastructure projects.

Economic Justice

In this, it is demanded that a large restructuring of the tax code is performed to end the ever widening income and wealth gap, an issue which deeply impacts the black community.

In this spirit, the Movement for Black Lives asks that Glass-Steagall be restored alongside the breakup of “too big to fail” banks. All trade agreements, including the Trans-Pacific Partnership, should be reevaluated to guarantee that jobs remain within the country.

The need for the guaranteed right for workers to collectivize all falls in this category, as does the need to create laws to protect employees in under-regulated professions such as tipped work or domestic labor.

Community Control

As black Americans’ involvement in community leadership and influence has been historically marginalized or altogether disallowed, this demand seeks a radical expansion in democratic access.

This includes, as detailed, the control of law enforcement on all levels to fall to direct democracy — no longer can racist police chiefs, for example, be permitted to keep their position for decades.

The privatization of education should also cease, to be replaced with democratically controlled school boards and leaders.

Political Power

In a similar vein as the prior point, this calls for an end of money-influenced politics, especially as expanded under Citizen’s United.

Much should also be done to expand and simplify the access to voting. This would involve automatic registration, voting holidays and the end of the disenfranchisement of certain groups including the currently and formerly incarcerated as well as undocumented immigrants.

This is just a brief overview of an undeniably impressive and highly nuanced list of demands as penned by the Movement for Black Lives. Though it is quite far reaching and arguably radical, it is difficult to deny the necessity of many if not all of these actions.

It is often said that to solve a problem, it must first be identified. Now that the first step has been taken within the Black Lives Matter movement, those involved can begin to take a targeted approach at ticking off these goals, one by one.

Photo Credit: Tony Webster / Wikimedia Commons

67 comments

Jack Y
Jack Y3 months ago

thanks

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Jack Y
Jack Y3 months ago

thanks

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John J
John J3 months ago

thanks for sharing

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John J
John J3 months ago

thanks for sharing

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Marie W.
Marie W2 years ago

Sounds like a pipe dream of free money-Reparations. How about addressing these facts:
FBI’s annual Crime in the United States reports:2013
Percentage of blacks murdered by blacks - 90.5%
Same report-the number of blacks killed by whites was at approximately 0.77 per 1,000,000 blacks, while the number of whites killed by blacks was at 9.83 per 1,000,000 whites.
www.census.gov reports Black or African American as of 2015 are 13.3% of the population;DOJ statistics show that between 1980 and 2008, blacks committed 52% of homicides, compared to 45% of homicides committed by whites.
More up to date FBI statistics tell a similar story. In 2013, black criminals carried out 38% of murders, compared to 31.1% for whites, again despite the fact that there are five times more white people in the U.S.From 2011 to 2013, 38.5 per cent of people arrested for murder, manslaughter, rape, robbery, and aggravated assault were black. This figure is three times higher than the 13% black population figure. When you account for the fact that black males aged 15-34, who account for around 3% of the population, are responsible for the vast majority of these crimes, the figures are even more staggering.In 2012, according to the CDC, 140 blacks were killed by police. That same year 386 whites were killed by police. Over the 13-year period from 1999 to 2011, the CDC reports that 2,151 whites were killed by cops — and 1,130 blacks were killed by cops.

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Rose Becke
Rose Becke2 years ago

Black lives matter all lives matter that are killed by police

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Siyus Copetallus
Siyus Copetallus2 years ago

Thank you for sharing.

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Elaine W.
Past Member 2 years ago

Black lives matter. All lives matter.

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Brian F.
Brian F2 years ago

BLM also needs to encourage members of the black community to stop burning down businesses like they did in Milwaukee, WI recently. If black community members fill they are mistreated by these businesses, than they should boycott them, and write about their negative experiences on blogs on the internet. Burning down, and looting businesses is not going to solve anything.

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JT Smith
Past Member 2 years ago

Donn M., what you are suggesting is NOT what BLM is all about in the first place. Also remember that following the Civil War the American Government made promises of payments due to freed slaves, and none of those promises were kept. The group that put forth these movement goals is understandably biased, and is only a segment of the BLM movement.

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