“It is no exaggeration to say that the men and women in blue patrolling the streets of the United States have been given a license to kill—and have demonstrated a consistent propensity to use it. More often than not, police violence, including murder and attempted murder, is directed at African Americans.”
Taylor, Keeanga-Yamahtta (2016-02-01). From #BlackLivesMatter to Black Liberation (Kindle Locations 147-149). Haymarket Books. Kindle Edition.
Over the years, shootings of African-American males by police officers has been an epidemic that has not gotten better or worse; it’s just being broadcasted worldwide. Taylor refers to the protests that have taken place since 2009 because of these shootings. Taylor points out the protests are in direct response to the unjust shootings, which have sparked a wave of civil unrest across the nation.
As it stands, the protests that have taken place are not going to be the answer to the unjust events that are currently taking place in this country. Taylor offers criticism of the first black president, Barack Obama, mentioning that she doesn’t believe he contributed enough to the black power struggle. This criticism is fair in that is analyzes the presidency that was expected of Obama by the black community. Taylor also mentions the idea of a parallel of the 20th and 21st centuries, how black people continually get swept up in the comfort of having a black leader to lead us to the promised land. Taylor calls these figures “black faces in high places,” insinuating that these leaders are offering more distraction and comfort than they are actually helping. This is not necessarily to say that blacks in America believed that Obama would be the savior of the black struggle, but seeing a black face in the most powerful position in the world was a light if shining hope. As a people, there needs to be less reliance on a black leader who is positioned in the media as our Messiah. The answer to the struggle of blacks relies heavily on unity and focus. We cannot allow ourselves to sit back and wait for the next MLK or the next Malcolm X. There needs to be proper civil unrest. There needs to be fashion industry boycotts, mainstream sports boycotts, etc. Until justice is found, there needs to be no more disenfranchised movements. #Blacklivesmatter is a key movement, but there is too much division about what it’s platform is because of media outlets and extremists taking the message into their own hands. We cannot continue to allow ourselves to fall into this whirlwind of distraction. The goal is to finally be people who are looked at and treated both equally and fairly. The means to get there has to be revolution in our homes, schools, and government.