Black Lives Matter Nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize
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Norwegian MP Petter Eide praised the movement’s ability to raise awareness about racial inequities in societies outside of the U.S. as well as within.
“I find that one of the key challenges we have seen in America, but also in Europe and Asia, is the kind of increasing conflict based on inequality,” Eide said. “Black Lives Matter has become a very important worldwide movement to fight racial injustice.”
“They have had a tremendous achievement in raising global awareness and consciousness about racial injustice… They have been able to mobilise people from all groups of society, not just African-Americans, not just oppressed people, it has been a broad movement, in a way which has been different from their predecessors.”
The Black Lives Matter movement first gained steam after Trayvon Martin was murdered by George Zimmerman. The Trayvon Martin shooting sparked outrage, as many felt like an innocent minor was murdered after being racially profiled for wearing a hoodie.
Many celebrities also chimed in and remarked about how they felt it was indicative of a bigger problem of persisting racism against Black people in the U.S.
Trayvon Martin’s death was followed by several subsequent incidents that bore an uncanny resemblance, such as the Michael Brown and Eric Garner officer involved shootings. The most recent deaths of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor have ignited a new spark for many, resulting in a series of protests across the U.S. and internationally.
Flyod’s death, in which a police officer kneeled on Floyd’s neck until he could no longer breathe, was the final straw as it sparked protests with unprecedented fervor. Many saw it as confirmation that there is a police brutality problem in the U.S. and that the Black community is on the receiving end of such brutality.
Though the Black Lives Matter movement has attracted many in the public sphere and is widely popular, it has not been immune to criticism.
Most notably, former President Donald Trump has publicly admitted he was not a fan of the movement.
“The first time I ever heard of Black Lives Matter, they were chanting ‘pigs in a blanket’ talking about police,” Trump said. “Pigs, talking about our police. ‘Pigs in a blanket, fry them like bacon.’ I said that’s a horrible thing. And they were marching down the street. That was my first glimpse of Black Lives Matter.”
“It’s such a racist term, it’s a term that sows division between Blacks and Whites and everybody else,” Trump said.
The former president also disagreed with the notion that the U.S. was a country built upon racism. He enacted the 1776 commission to “promote patriotic education.”
Despite his criticisms of the Black Lives Matter movement, he acknowledged the outrage over the Flyod’s death.
Trump said, “Certainly the knee on the neck was a disgrace”.
Trump was also nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize last year, albeit from another MP.
Eide claimed that his nomination of the Black Lives Matter movement was not a commentary on U.S. politics.
While some have claimed that Black Lives Matter was responsible for violent riots across the U.S. throughout the summer of 2020, Eide refuted the notion.
“Studies have shown that most of the demonstrations organised by Black Lives Matter have been peaceful,” he said. “Of course there have been incidents, but most of them have been caused by the activities of either the police or counter-protestors.”
According to the Armed Conflict Location and Event Data project, 93% of Black Lives Matter demonstrations involved no serious harm to people or property.
This is also in contrast to Trump’s response to the protests that took place over the summer in which he responded by tweeting from his now-banned Twitter account, “When the looting starts, the shooting starts.”
This was a tweet that drew much criticism from Trump’s detractors.
Trump also signed an executive order during the summer of 2020 that would call for protesters who damaged Federal property to face up to 10 years in prison.