Lost lives spark a new civil rights movement


In 2013 following the death of Joseph Paul Franklin, over 100 people marched to protest his death. By Fibonacci Blue, Wikimedia Commons

Michael Brown. Eric Garner. Trayvon Martin. Tamir Rice. Freddie Gray. These men were not only someone’s brother, son or father, but they symbolize the spark of a new Civil Rights movement.

Think back to the 1960s where the minorities and disadvantaged were fighting for their rights.

During this time, the cops not only turned a blind eye to the injustice in society, but they attacked the disadvantaged with police dogs, left them powerless against the force of a fire hose and beat them down in the streets.

It wasn’t until leaders like Malcolm X and Martin Luther King, Jr. emerged that these people found help.

There’s no Rosa Parks or Martin Luther King Jr. of our generation.

Just a whole group of people standing together and shouting in unison that, “Black Lives Matter.”

Our generation is determined to make sure the deaths of these young men weren’t in vain.

Ferguson and Baltimore became hot spots of political activism following the deaths of Michael Brown and Freddie Gray. The loss of their voices gave a voice to the rejects, outcasts and outspoken who had been afraid to speak out against police brutality.

According to the Office of Justice Programs, 84% of individuals who had force used against them by the police felt that it was excessive, but just 14% of those individuals filed a formal complaint against the police.

That comes as no surprise. How can people expect to be listened to by the very people who hurt them, the people who were there to serve and protect them?

Cops are known for their honor and valor and I applaud the work of thousands of law enforcement officials across our nation.

But the few cops that see their badge as a get-out-of-jail-free card is unacceptable. Some believe themselves to be invincible and think that there will be no repercussions for their actions.

The national government keeps record of livestock, shark attacks and officers killed in a line of duty, yet there’s no data on how many civilians are killed by police officers.

It’s time that cops are held accountable for each and every one of their actions.

It’s time for our generation to make a stand together for the forgotten members of society who have been beat down by discrimination.

This matters for just one simple reason and that’s the fact that all lives matter.