Black Lives Matter is more than a slogan: HERE’S WHAT THEY BELIEVE

As many rally and protest in the wake of the George Floyd murder, the simple slogan Black Lives Matter is more than words on a poster, it is an activist group by the same name.
So, what do they believe?
In the group’s “What We Believe” page, the expressed mission is to expose and prevent police brutality, unjust deaths at the hands of vigilantes, and general racism endangering black lives.
“We see ourselves as part of the global Black family, and we are aware of the different ways we are impacted or privileged as Black people who exist in different parts of the world.”
The focus includes gender identity, family structure and ending heteronormative thinking – all topics outside the original framework of Black Lives Matter:

We are self-reflexive and do the work required to dismantle cisgender privilege and uplift Black trans folk, especially Black trans women who continue to be disproportionately impacted by trans-antagonistic violence.

We build a space that affirms Black women and is free from sexism, misogyny, and environments in which men are centered.

We practice empathy. We engage comrades with the intent to learn about and connect with their contexts.

We make our spaces family-friendly and enable parents to fully participate with their children. We dismantle the patriarchal practice that requires mothers to work “double shifts” so that they can mother in private even as they participate in public justice work.

We disrupt the Western-prescribed nuclear family structure requirement by supporting each other as extended families and “villages” that collectively care for one another, especially our children, to the degree that mothers, parents, and children are comfortable.

We foster a queer‐affirming network. When we gather, we do so with the intention of freeing ourselves from the tight grip of heteronormative thinking, or rather, the belief that all in the world are heterosexual (unless s/he or they disclose otherwise).

Image by Betty Martin from Pixabay

Beyond that, Black Lives Matter have this listed as their political mission statement:

BLM’s #WhatMatters2020 will focus on issues concerning racial injustice, police brutality, criminal justice reform, Black immigration, economic injustice, LGBTQIA+ and human rights, environmental injustice, access to healthcare, access to quality education, and voting rights and suppression.

This initiative will inspire and motivate people to ask themselves and their candidates are you really addressing What Matters in 2020?

Black Lives Matter has also promoted some noteworthy anti-police rhetoric throughout the current national crisis beyond the rather bipartisan call for police training reform.

On May 30, the group joined the hashtag #DefundThePolice and issued a list of demands.

“We call for an end to the systemic racism that allows this culture of corruption to go unchecked and our lives to be taken,” said the organization. “We call for a national defunding of police. We demand investment in our communities and the resources to ensure Black people not only survive, but thrive. If you’re with us, add your name to the petition right now and help us spread the word.”

The Black Lives Matter activists who led an organizing rally in Los Angeles made two national demands: “Prosecute killer cops,” they answered in unison. “Defund police.”

Dr. Melina Abdullah, lead organizer of Black Lives Matter’s L.A. chapter, led call and response chants of “disrupt white capitalism,” a concept she believes is the root cause of police violence in America. Abdullah, who is also a college professor, went on to drop a string of expletives that seemingly foreshadowed what was to come after the rally would end.

“F*** the police,” she shouted into the megaphone. “F*** white capitalism. F*** The Grove. F*** 3rdand Fairfax. F*** Beverly Hills.”

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