Dear next president:
As a middle class white male my letter will probably be discredited as being written by someone who knows nothing about the struggles of an African American in today's society. However, I can offer the perspective of a large portion of America that does not in fact have experience with the people that make up the Black Lives Matter movement. Black Lives Matter is a dead movement that has been plagued by violent protests based on non factual evidence. Over the past few years, this organization has gained too much political power to destroy people's lives with their protests. Something needs to be done in advance to keep the group from destroying property and destroying the lives of innocent people before the facts about shootings involving police officers are released.
Black Lives Matter began to form shortly after the shooting death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri. The Ferguson riots are the first example of protest without facts. According to the United States Department of Justice, there was no evidence that Michael Brown was shot running away; however, there was in fact evidence to support officer Wilson's statement that Brown reached inside the patrol car punched and grabbed Wilson and attempted to take his gun. Later that same night protests about police brutality ensued, claiming that Brown had his hands up saying “don't shoot.” There was absolutely no evidence available at that time to prove who was at fault, the officer or Brown, but people were mad and wanted someone to blame. I don't want this to be misconstrued as “cops are never guilty”. I believe that if someone commits a crime, police officer or not, they should get no special treatment. However, we live in America, where people are assumed “innocent until proven guilty,” not the other way around.
Many of the protests that are organized by BLM dissolve into a violent free for all under the guise of “bringing attention to the issue of police brutality." How does looting stores in their own neighborhoods help their cause? After all, in a predominately African American area, most of the businesses are owned by African Americans, so who are these protests aimed at? Arguably, the most successful civil rights leader of all time brought about momentous change without ever advocating for or committing a single violent act. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. once said, ”The goal is not to defeat or humiliate the opponent but rather to win him or her over to understanding new ways to create cooperation and community.” I take this to mean that Dr. King knew the difference between defeating someone and changing someone. Violence and aggression will only create resentment towards those seeking change. However, his peaceful protests created as little resentment as possible because there were no ill effects of a peaceful, well planned march or sit in. What does the looting and rioting of a city accomplish? Sure it draws attention but the wrong kind; it shows an outside observer a rash violent group that then begins to take over the image people have of the movement. The majority of BLM protestors are nonviolent, but the minority that uses the protest as an outlet for anger has become the face of the organization.
I have heard it asked “why we do we only see black men being shot by police in the news?If police weren't biased or racist in some way then we would see white people being shot too, right?” The answer is not just black people are shot by police, but no one cares about the white people that are shot because it doesn't have the same effect. As a nation we have all become extremely desensitized to images of natural disasters tearing through third world countries or even our own country as can be seen with hurricane Matthew. Images of starving children are sad, but they don't get the ratings and attention that they used to. The racially charged tension that can be seen between the Black Lives Matter protesters and police officers at the protests, particularly after they melt into a riot, holds the attention of America and often pits people's strong opinions against one another. The entire build up creates the perfect platform for news agencies to capitalize on the situation and stir the pot a little more.
Black Lives Matter may have been founded with the right ideals but, it has become something ugly. The organization possesses the power to destroy lives based on opinions that may not be based on facts, if a person commits a crime there are consequences, we don't need another group of social justice warriors judging people's actions without facts. In the United States everyone is innocent until proven guilty. That alone set us far ahead of other nations when our country was founded and continues to do so. As our next president you need to make sure that we stay strong with our founding ideals and that includes the right to a fair trial.