In the United States, social movements have been used to fight for worthwhile causes such as fighting against the disenfranchisement of minorities. The Black Panther Party is one such movement that was formed to protect African American neighborhoods from acts of police brutality. Today, other contemporary social protest movements like the Black Lives matter movement continue to advance the desires and beliefs that the Black Panther Party fought for; however, some of their hopes and beliefs seem less relevant today.
The desire of the Black Panther Party movement to end police brutality against black people is one that contemporary social protests movements still fight for today. In the Black Panther’s ten-point program, point number seven states that the party wants an end to police brutality and the murder of black people (Newton, 1980). The 1960s saw the unreasonable killing of black people in the hands of the police and this brutality gave rise to the Black Panther Party movement. Police brutality persists today.
A report by The Guardian shows that the killings amongst young African Americans were sharply killed higher rate than other Americans in 2016. The group Law enforcement officers are nine times more likely to kill African Americans than any other racial group in America (Swaine and McCarthy, 2017). The Philando Castile Police shooting depicts this kind of brutality. Such brutality has inspired movements such as the Black Lives Matter which shares the same desire and beliefs the Black Panther Party that police brutality should end. Black Lives, therefore, intervenes in violence inflicted on Black communities (BLMa, 2018).
Reforms in the American justice system is yet another desire that the Black Lives Movement shares with the Black Panther Party. The eighth and ninth points of the Black Panther Party’s ten-point advocates for reform in the American Justice system. The eight-point wants all Black Men that are held in all levels of prisons and jails to be released. The ninth point then goes ahead to advocate convicted black people should be tried in a court of a jury from their communities or their peer groups (Newton, 1980). Despite decades after the Black Panther Party advocated for reform in the justice system, this has not yet been realized.
Racial disparities are still present in the criminal justice system with blacks being more discriminated against. The traffic stops are a classic example, where black Americans are twelve percent more likely to be stopped by the police in comparison to white Americans (Ghandnoosh, 2015). Given today’s prevalence of injustice in the justice system, the Black Lives Movement fights against this. The movement vows to continue to support the fight against America’s justice system until all black, migrants, and indigenous people are no longer targeted and criminalized (BLMb, 2018).
An end to economic inequality is a desire and belief that the Black Panther Party pursued and one that the Black Lives movement continues to advance. In order to reduce the economic disparity between blacks and whites, the Black Panther advocated for education, full employment, and free health care for Black Communities. This is expressed in their ten-point program. During the 1960s and 1970s, Black Americans were deprived of opportunity, and this hindered their advancement on the economic ladder. The Black Panther Party, therefore, bridged the gap and advocated for their economic progress through education, employment, and healthcare (Newton, 1980). This is a cause that the Black Lives Matter movement still pursues after today.
The economic agenda of the Black Lives Matter movement is aimed at decreasing economic inequality amongst whites and people of color similar to the Black Panther Party. The movement advocates for a livable income which can be accomplished through a universal basic income program and raising wages (Rose, 2016). Indeed, the Black Panther Party and the Black Lives Matter movement shared some beliefs and desires. However, there are some which seem less relevant today.
The Black Panther Party believed in the second amendment and used guns while protesting and were often described as militant. While protesting outside the California Statehouse, the Black Panthers were armed with 12-gauge shotguns, .45-caliber pistols, and .357 Magnums, as they stated that the time for black people to arm themselves has come. The Black Panther Party did not only protest using guns, but they patrolled as well with guns to protect them
The use of firearms as a means of protest is a belief that present-day contemporary social protest movements, such as the Black Lives Matter, will not agree with. Gun reform is an agenda that the black Lives matter movement aligns itself with (Jenkins, 2018). Instead of using guns, Black Lives Matter and other contemporary social movements use technology. Social media and the internet at large have proven to be a considerable aid in the fight against racism by highlighting the struggles that Black people go through and advancing the Black Lives Matter agenda.
In conclusion, the Black Panther Party’s Desire and dreams are yet to be realized in modern day America. This has inspired movements such as the Black Lives Matter movement to continue to advance them as the two movements share the same beliefs and desires. However, while the Black Panther Party emphasized on the second amendment, the Black Lives Matter movement uses the first utilizes the first amendment more.
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