• by Alana Price • IDRA Newsletter • June-July 2020 •
The Black Lives Matter movement is a protest against police brutality directed toward the Black community. People across the globe fight for equal rights for the Black community and to eliminate police brutality. For many years, Black people, indigenous people and other people of color have been treated differently because of the color of their skin, which led to the Black Lives Matter movement.
The Black Lives Matter movement has shown that it isn’t enough to not be non-racist. We must commit to being anti-racist. The systems in America are set up to be racist toward Black people, indigenous people and other people of color.
Slavery was a system that upheld the U.S. economy in the South. Slavery originates from the financial interest White people sought, so they disregarded the lives of the Black community. Slave patrols were groups of White men who would police slaves, especially those who were trying to escape and seek freedom. They helped the White landowners by capturing and beating slaves trying to escape. The point of having the slave patrols was to protect the White’s economy at the expense of the Black community.
Jim Crow laws later made it illegal for people of color to use the same public facilities as the White community. Segregation prevented Black people from becoming wealthy and achieving social advancement. Black people would be beaten and arrested by police for breaking racist laws.
The Black Lives Matter movement has shown that it isn’t enough to not be non-racist. We must commit to being anti-racist.
The Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s worked to try and end legal discrimination. The United States then employed tactics to obstruct racial justice.
In the present day, prisoners are forced to work and make a few pennies an hour. Private companies are profiting from forced labor. There is financial interest for states and private companies, which is why more Black males are enslaved in U.S. prisons today than there were slaves in 1850.
Since the 13th Amendment, policing has had racist practices because there is an economic incentive to over-police Black people, indigenous people and other people of color. Most of the time, people will say “Not all cops are bad,” but before you do, remember that our policing system has supported racial segregation.
Alana Price is a seventh-grade student in San Antonio ISD.
[©2020, IDRA. This article originally appeared in the June-July 2020 IDRA Newsletter by the Intercultural Development Research Association. Permission to reproduce this article is granted provided the article is reprinted in its entirety and proper credit is given to IDRA and the author.]