To a student of history, the United States in 2020 draws many comparisons to the United States back in 1968. Violent U.S. interference on a foreign country (Vietnam in 1968 and Iran in 2020), tension between the U.S. and Russia (or the then Soviet Union), radical elections between the two parties, and protests that spark the nation to call for action against racial injustices. 2020 has been a stimulating year for many people and that’s not just because of the worldwide pandemic known as COVID-19, but because of many social and political issues that have reached the boiling point.
George Floyd, a 46 year old Black father was unjustly suffocated and murdered on May 25th, 2020 in the city of Minneapolis, Minnesota on the alleged suspicion of him paying a store clerk with a counterfeit $20 bill. Since then, mass protests have erupted calling for the response by the city to arrest, charge, convict and imprison the four, then officers responsible for the murder. Derek Chauvin, J. Alexander Kueng, Thomas Lane, and Tou Thao were eventually arrested and charged with second degree murder and yet the protests are still happening. Why? Because there are Black individuals like Breonna Taylor, Elijah McClain and Tony McDade and countless others who were unjustly murdered by police officers who received little to no punishment by the United States of America. In the past month these protests have grown from the calling of punishing police officers who commit racially motivated crimes to the nationwide defunding of police departments and ending the militarization of police departments altogether. The hashtags #defundthepolice and #abolishthepolice were then created to gain attention to the Black Lives Matter movement. There have been protests in all 50 states and even in many countries worldwide making this the largest civil unrest in U.S. history.
Though more states are opening back up from the pandemic and the presidential elections are entering the last quarter, these protests are not stopping just because news outlets and politicians have stopped paying attention. History has taught us that movements like this will only keep happening and will not stop for months to years until real change is made. The Montgomery Bus Boycotts lasted 381 days until public transportation was integrated in Alabama in 1956. In 1960, the Greensboro Sit Ins lasted from February to July until North Carolina diners were desegregated. The 1968 riots following Dr. Martin Luther King Jr’s assassination lasted a whole month until the Civil Rights Act of 1968 was passed. However those riots were only a small part of the previous 4 years of riots in over 100 majority Black populated inner cities around the United States. The Black Lives Matter protests will not stop and will only continue to spark inspiration for more movements, such as Trans Lives Matter and American Indian Movement to have protests of their own in order to force the American federal government to end the systematic and systemic oppression against many groups.
If you would like to donate in support of these causes please visit: https://nymag.com/strategist/article/where-to-donate-for-black-lives-matter.html as they have 142 legitimate links to different memorial funds, bail funds, and organizations that support BIPOC, LGBTQ, and POC groups.