Black Lives Matter is a major international movement that addresses white privilege and all racially motivated incidents and violence and tries to protect the rights and freedoms of Black people. This movement was formed in the U.S. in 2013 after a policeman who killed an unarmed African American teenager was acquitted on charges (Lebron, 2017). Almost every year after the foundation of the movement, Black Lives Matter expanded due to the continuation of unfair treatment of Black Americans. The idea behind the BLM is peaceful, valuable, promising, and respectful (Abdo, 2020), and it helps highlight and address two major issues, including police brutality and attempts to hide incidents of discrimination against Black people (Buchanan et al., 2020).
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Black people are those who are most impacted by this movement. According to the BLM official website, this movement’s supporters and participants “affirm the lives of Black queer and trans folks, disabled folks, undocumented folks, folks with records, women, and all Black lives along the gender spectrum” (Black Lives Matter, 2021, para. 3). These people constantly feel the negative effects of stereotypes, discrimination, and racially-based hate coming from other persons, which is why the Black Lives Matter movement is vital for them. It allows them to remember that they are supported, protected, and accepted by many individuals, and the number of such welcoming members of society is growing (Lebron, 2017). Further, this movement also impacts ordinary people who become aware of the necessity of the mentioned issues. For example, according to Cohn and Quealy (2020), there is “a significant increase in unfavorable views of the police and an increase in the belief that African-Americans face a lot of discrimination” (para. 5).
The impact of society on the Black Lives Matter movement and its success is colossal. According to Cohn and Quealy (2020), voters’ support for the BLM has increased rapidly, and their opinion on race, discrimination and criminal justice is changing for the better. More and more people recognize the severity of the problem of racism and police brutality in America, which is extremely beneficial for the BLM movement as it allows it to grow and gain strength. Additionally, society spreads the news related to the BLM movement itself or the racially motivated incidents that happen to Black Americans, allowing other people to be aware of the issues with discrimination and become BLM supporters (Buchanan et al., 2020).
The critical analysis of the chosen movement through the four general education lenses has brought many valuable insights. I examined the first-person account of a BLM protest in Minneapolis (Abdo, 2020), and the author’s descriptions amazed me. I always knew that this movement had a significant purpose, but I never actually realized that it was initially peaceful and welcoming in its nature. When I studied it through the humanities lens, I was inspired by the number of artworks created by White artists to support the Black victims. Thus, this analysis changed my perception of the world, and now I see it not as a place full of discrimination, stereotypes, and hatred but as a hopeful and promising place where many people are ready to protect each other and forget about the differences between them.
Further, there are some influences of critical diversity analysis in my professional field. As a white female in the banking/financial industry, I meet various people, including those who face social injustice. Unfortunately, it is not rare for me to notice that many Black people are not treated as welcoming as our White clients, which upsets me. I believe that it is my responsibility to make all our visitors feel comfortable while interacting with me and I also hope that more professionals in my field become aware of the issues of discrimination and stop dividing their clients into Black and White. Therefore, studying diversity will increase client satisfaction and bring our field to a new level in the nearest future.
Critically analyzing diversity allows me to understand people better. It reminds me that our world consists of a vast number of different cultures, and this is its main value. Diversity is wonderful as it provides access to numerous great artifacts, insights, traditions, and many other things and concepts that can unite people on some level. When critically analyzing diversity, I contribute to the global acceptance and welcoming of all individuals regardless of their race and other characteristics. I also raise my awareness of the necessity to treat people carefully and equally. Finally, studying diversity is also about analyzing the existing issues, for example, racially motivated discrimination and police brutality.
This critical diversity analysis can be used to meet my personal and professional goals. For example, I can become more educated on the issues of racism and intolerance, learn different ways one can accidentally mistreat diverse persons, and make sure that my clients do not face any discrimination when interacting with me. I can also spread awareness to help my colleagues treat their clients equally. As practitioners in my field, they can demonstrate their welcoming and accepting attitude to diversity to attract more clients and prove that they are safe and will not be judged based on their race or other characteristics.
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There are numerous benefits that the world can gain after defeating issues in diversity, including stereotypes, discrimination, police brutality, and hatred. First, achieving equality for all people will promote tolerance, joy, and self-expression among individuals of different nationalities and cultures (Ramos et al., 2016). There will be more understanding between people, reducing or eliminating race wars. Second, diversity enriches our communities because people can share their different experiences (Ramos et al., 2016). Additionally, businesses led by White and Black Americans will be able to grow equally, and the economy will prosper. Finally, people will live peacefully and will not have to worry about their children being discriminated against.
Unfortunately, there are also numerous challenges in addressing issues of diversity. To begin with, there is an increased level of prejudice and intolerance. People are discriminated against based on their disability, political beliefs, religion, race, and sexuality, and any attempt to stand out from the crowd and be slightly different from others is ridiculed and mistreated by society (Ramos et al., 2016). Many individuals love to make generalizations and unfair assumptions about others, and various stereotypes make our world an unwelcoming place. Finally, it is possible to say that racism and homophobia are the most severe diversity challenges because they have taken root in people’s minds (Ramos et al., 2016). For many centuries these two characteristics have divided society into “owners” and “slaves” and “healthy” and “mentally sick” people.
To conclude, critical analysis of diversity adds value to interactions with people in personal and professional contexts. Awareness that all individuals are different but equal makes it possible for a person to treat everyone based on their actions and attitudes instead of their race, age, or sexuality. Therefore, studying diversity helps enhance personal and professional communication and makes it smoother, nicer, and more beneficial for all parties.
Abdo, Z. (2020). A first-person account of a Black Lives Matter protest in Minneapolis turned violent by police. Inside Edition. Web.
Buchanan, L., Bui, Q., & Patel, J. K. (2020). Black Lives Matter may be the largest movement in U.S. history. The New York Times. Web.
Black Lives Matter. (2021). About. Web.
Cohn, N., & Quealy, K. (2020). How public opinion has moved on Black Lives Matter. The New York Times. Web.
Lebron, C. J. (2017). The making of Black Lives Matter: A brief history of an idea. Oxford University Press.
Ramos, M., Hewstone, M., Barreto, M., & Branscombe, N. (2016). The opportunities and challenges of diversity: Explaining its impact on individuals and groups. European Journal of Social Psychology, 46(7).