The “Black Lives Matter” movement is well-known for its involvement in protests and demonstrations across the United States over the past couple of years. But the movement has been heavily criticized for a lack of organization, leadership, and direction.
While #BlackLivesMatter activists have raised eyebrows by heckling people who marched with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and for forcing Democratic candidates to apologize for saying that every human life matters, they have a list of demands.
According to the website, BlackLivesMatter.com, the movement’s list of demands for “Black men, women, trans and gender-nonconforming people,” includes:
- We demand an end to all forms of discrimination and the full recognition of our human rights.
- We demand an immediate end to police brutality and the murder of Black people and all oppressed people.
- We demand full, living wage employment for our people.
- We demand decent housing fit for the shelter of human beings and an end to gentrification.
- We demand an end to the school to prison pipeline & quality education for all.
- We demand freedom from mass incarceration and an end to the prison industrial complex.
- We demand a racial justice agenda from the White House that is inclusive of our shared fate as Black men, women, trans and gender-nonconforming people. Not My Brother’s Keeper, but Our Children’s Keeper.
- We demand access to affordable healthy food for our neighborhoods.
- We demand an aggressive attack against all laws, policies, and entities that disenfranchise any community from expressing themselves at the ballot.
- We demand a public education system that teaches the rich history of Black people and celebrates the contributions we have made to this country and the world.
- We demand the release of all U.S. political prisoners.
- We demand an end to the military industrial complex that incentivizes private corporations to profit off of the death and destruction of Black and Brown communities across the globe.
Following the list of demands, the BLM website features some commentary on the Obama administration’s current program addressing race relations, known as “My Brother’s Keeper.” The BLM website claims that My Brother’s Keeper “ignores too many members of our communities,” and fails to address the “white supremacist system.”
The #BlackLivesMatter demands, which Mother Jones writer Kevin Drum felt rather confused by, vaguely outline hopeful changes to American society. As Drum notes:
“At the risk of being yet another clueless white guy, I’d be curious to know how this translates into concrete initiatives.”
The #BlackLivesMatter movement doesn’t appear to be quieting down, either.
They’ve remained active since the death of Michael Brown, the man who was fatally shot after attacking officer Darren Wilson in Ferguson, MO, up to recent events protesting the Confederate flag in South Carolina.