The Black Lives Matter protest movement has drawn a diverse group of supporters. This diversity is indicative of an expanding movement for racial and social equity activism across America that cuts across generations.
Recent protests have been focused on several pressing issues, such as police brutality and racial inequality; plus the COVID-19 pandemic which has had devastating effects for many Americans. Protesters also targeted monuments seen as symbols of American racism and racial violence that they feel need to be challenged.
For the first time in US race relations history, a significant number of white people have become part of Black protest movements. These demonstrations have ignited an important and ongoing conversation about how to address racism that still runs rampant within our society today.
These conversations have spurred the creation of new social movement-based initiatives and political platforms that are specifically focused on Black people’s experiences. The recent wave of protests, which started in May after police killing George Floyd, saw an unprecedented level of white participation – higher than ever seen during either Civil Rights Movement or other comparable racial uprisings.
But the White Lives Matter (WLM) movement has also produced numerous White supremacist organizations, many of which openly endorse WLM on their websites. Keystone United, for instance, is one such example – they even sell stickers featuring WLM images! Stormfront meanwhile is the largest online forum dedicated to white supremacist ideology worldwide.
Though there are white supremacist elements within the WLM movement, most participants are white activists striving to have their voices heard. Salome Chimuku, 29, from Portland, is forging relationships with Black leaders that she wouldn’t have otherwise and says these connections have been a huge help to the cause; she hasn’t yet met any white people who don’t at least show some support for it.
This surge of white participants has also raised the visibility of the movement, drawing national attention to issues like racism and police brutality that had been overlooked for some time. Ultimately, this marks a major victory in the fight against white supremacy.
White people must confront their relationship to white supremacy, including both the role they play in it and how they respond to it. Either they take action and do honest work to examine how white supremacy operates in their lives or they decide to let go – a decision which must be made for racial equity.
During the civil rights movement, Black people across America organized street rallies and picket lines in protest of police mistreatment. While these demonstrations helped secure freedom and civil rights for African Americans, many also faced discrimination and hostility from white people.
As the civil rights movement gained momentum, it attracted supporters from outside of the Black community. By the 1960s, demonstrations had spread to cities in the North – including Chicago – mostly peacefully but some violent incidents also occurred.
Today, Black Lives Matter (BLM) has gained widespread support beyond its core constituency of African Americans. Polls reveal that BLM now enjoys majority support among Hispanics, Asian Americans and even Whites alike.
Demonstrations associated with the Black Lives Matter movement have generally been peaceful, though authorities have intervened in 9% of all demonstrations so far. This figure represents a marked improvement from July 2019, when only about 30 events required government intervention.
Recently, there has been an uptick in hate crimes targeting Blacks and those associated with racial justice protests. Some reports have highlighted displays of nooses or racist symbols like stuffed animal monkeys at such demonstrations around the country; these displays may be intended to intimidate or deter protesters or serve as a warning for those who attend such gatherings.
The rise in racial hate crimes is believed to have contributed to an uptick in non-state intervention and violence during Black Lives Matter demonstrations, as well as more anti-police harassment on social media. Despite these factors, participation in racial justice protests continues to grow.
Over the past year, an increasing number of black adults in America have participated in protests. About one out of every ten black, Hispanic, and Asian adults has taken part, compared to 5% for white individuals.
Civis Analytics recently conducted a survey which revealed the Black Lives Matter movement has attracted an array of protesters. This includes young people who are more familiar with activism than previous generations and often have greater stakes in the outcomes of such protests. Furthermore, people from various income levels and age groups are joining in on the action – an alteration from previous surveys which generally revealed an older and wealthier crowd as supporters.
In the United States, there are various groups who identify as Hispanic or Latino. These individuals come from diverse ethnic backgrounds such as Mexican, Puerto Rican and Cuban; some speak Spanish while others don’t.
There are also other groups, such as those with a mixed or unknown racial background. Although they may not self-identify as Hispanic or Latino, these people could still identify as such.
In the United States, “Hispanic” and “Latino” are pan-ethnic identities defined by shared culture rather than skin color or race. These labels are widely used by news and entertainment outlets, corporations, and local governments to describe America’s Hispanic population.
Social activists organizing protests often employ these terms to draw attention to cultural distinctions between members of different communities.
Although these terms can be useful in highlighting common history and shared experiences, they should never be used to determine someone’s identity or citizenship status. Instead, people should have the freedom to select which label best suits them.
Hispanic populations in the United States have been around for generations. Many cities were founded by Hispanic immigrants, such as San Miguel de Gualape, Pensacola, St. Augustine and Los Angeles – which are overwhelmingly Hispanic in makeup.
These communities were established before the Thirteen Colonies were formed and have a rich cultural legacy that predates English/British influence. This heritage is an integral part of our country’s history and continues to shape how we think about race in America today.
However, at a mass level, Hispanics tend to identify with their national origin more than any other factor. This holds true both for those who have lived in the United States for most of their lives and those who came here as children.
Due to this, Latinos tend to vote for Democratic candidates in political elections – a trend which has continued throughout presidential elections and beyond. Some may identify with Republicans, but the majority identify with the Democratic party due to their high levels of political efficacy and trust in government and civic institutions.
In the 1960s and ’70s, Asian Americans took advantage of civil rights movements to fight for their right to equal treatment in America. Though their numbers were much smaller than Black or Hispanic communities’, “Asian American” encompassed a range of people from Chinese Americans to Filipino Americans and Vietnamese Americans.
Although many activists are still working to maintain the momentum of their movement, some have seen success in some areas. To combat AAPI people’s legacy of erasure and inclusion in census data, organizers are encouraging more education about Asian history and culture.
As these initiatives gain steam, they are providing a newfound energy to the Asian American community. This can in turn foster an increasingly politically engaged group that can assert their rights.
Many Asian Americans in America are becoming more vocal about their experiences of discrimination and racism. Many are venting their emotions on social media with the hashtag #StopAsianHate as a means of expressing their rage and frustration.
Asian Americans are becoming more engaged in the fight against racist violence at the local level. After recent mass shootings in Atlanta and Indianapolis, local groups have rallied against anti-Asian American violence. These gatherings offer community members a chance to come together against racism and demand more resources for their community.
On March 27, nine Asian Americans from Boston joined hundreds of others to condemn acts of racial violence against their community.
They stressed the significance of viewing the current rise in racist violence against Asian Americans through a historical lens. Furthermore, they pointed out that this type of activity is not isolated to just South and East Coast areas of America.
The national focus on anti-Asian violence has sparked an uptick in research and funding for the Asian American community. For instance, the National Science Foundation is investing in projects that aim to better understand, combat and eliminate bias, discrimination and xenophobia against Asian American and Native Hawaiian people (AA/NHPI) communities. Furthermore, the Department of Justice is providing grants to law enforcement agencies so they can better investigate and prosecute hate crimes committed against AA/NHPI people.