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PHOTO ESSAY

Black Lives Matter

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End the Madness / Sea of Blue D.C. assemblance rally in support of law enforcement officers at the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in Washington D.C. on January 17th 2015 (Flickr.com)

Opposition to Black Lives Matter has stemmed from a number of groups and institutions, which have accused the movement of being anti-law enforcement, while at the same time criticizing the movement's explicit focus on black lives. Since 2012, anti-Black Lives Matter positions have surfaced in slogans such as "All Lives Matter," and "Blue Lives Matter." "Blue Lives Matter" has become shorthand for pro-police perspectives, and the notion of "blue lives," has influenced an array of legislation that reduces police accountability in civilian deaths, restricts protest activity, and criminalizes behavior that is deemed contrary to law enforcement. Counter protests against Black Lives Matter actions often include signs that use the phrase Lives Matter in forms to challenge or disparage Black Lives Matter. Black Lives Matter movement members have been falsely accused of inciting police violence. When Micah Xavier Johnson killed five police officers and injured nine others, some media outlets reported that Johnson was a Black Lives Matter Activist. After the deaths, Texas Lieutenant Governor also misrepresented Johnson as associated with Black Lives Matter. Black Lives Matter issued a statement after the deaths clarifying their commitment to nonviolent protest and asserted: "#BlackLivesMatter advocates dignity, justice and freedom. Not murder." Some of the victims' families filed lawsuits against individual BLM activists, including DeRay McKesson. The claims were later dismissed in court.

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