Keeping Up with The Social Groups
Civic affairs have been taken seriously by social groups who form to help spread the word about issues that are happening in the world. The major social groups of today are: Black Lives Matter, Antifa, Social Justice Warriors, White Knights, the National Organization for Women (NOW), etc. Even though the issues they fight could be agreeable, the way they do it may not always be the best way to go about proving it. It is important to know what a social group stands for, what you believe in, and what helps the world you live in.
The black social group that everyone knows is Black Lives Matter (BLM). BLM is a chapter-based national organization working for the validity of black life. It was formed on July 13, 2013 by Alicia Garza, Patrice Cullors, and Opal Tometi. The reason why BLM was formed was because of the murder of Trayvon Martin; a 17-year-old African American male from Florida, who was murdered by George Zimmerman, a white man who was a neighborhood watch captain, on February 26, 2012. This sparked outrage in the black community around the U.S. which was then the use of #BlackLivesMatter was used on social media and started a movement across America, giving a chance for Africans in America to protest and speak up on the brutality against them.
A year later, BLM grew even more when the Michael Brown murder happened on August 9, 2014, by Darren Wilson, a Caucasian policeman. BLM’s mission is “to (re)build the Black liberation movement”, in order to have “a world where Black lives are no longer systematically and intentionally targeted for demise” according to their website. This is for folks (who they claim are “black people”) who are queer, trans, disabled, black-undocumented, and those with criminal records. What they are really saying is that they want a world where white people can’t control black people anymore, and have control over everything.
What is the definition of “White and Black” according to law ?
They believe that black people are “intentionally left powerless at the hands of the state”, and that means police power; not the power of the executive, legislative, and judicial branches have. BLM has many chapters in the West, Mid-West, East, and the South in the U.S. BLM also have international BLM branches in Toronto, Canada, Australia, and the United Kingdom. There isn’t action in Africa to protest against police shootings and the fact is black lives do matter there too, but there is no Black Lives Matter chapter that exist there. There is support from a lot of black people from the BLM global chapters of the protest that have taken place in America against police brutality and white supremacy.
From the years that Black Lives Matter was formed there have been great achievements and progress from the founders along with their followers. They have brought some change to black people’s lives, both big and small. This year, the founders of BLM won the Sydney Peace Prize, of their “peace with justice”, human rights and nonviolence.
In 2015 activist like Cherno Biko, Laverne Cox and Janet Mock amplified, the voices of people of color in the trans community. Mock brought national recognition to 17 tragic murders of trans women of color when she read aloud the names of these victims during a live broadcast on MSNBC in August.
Activist Bree Newsome scaled a pole outside the South California state hose and temporarily took down a confederate flag. She said she had done this, “in defiance of the oppression that continues against black people in the southern United States.” Her voice was heard and the flag was removed from the pole on July 10, 2015. This made people made petitions and protested demanding the removal of the flag from other public spaces, and it was eventually done. Democratic presidential nominees Bernie sanders and Hillary Clinton meet with Black Lives Matter activists to discuss the change on police conduct and racial issues. This marked significant moments which helped recognize the movement as a national political force.
Now there’s a downside to all the success that BLM has made over the years. Protesters go to the extreme which interferes and affects politics, the media and people’s lives, including black people’s lives negatively. On November 26, 2014, the San Diego News ABC 10, reported a 5-intersection closed due to a Ferguson protest during rush hour. There were many angry drivers who were screaming at the protesters to move out the way. One driver exclaims to the news reporters how “Those guys don’t have to go to work… They don’t know anything about their own issue. They’re just complaining about something that could be dealt differently.” A more aggressive driver, Tyree Landrum, a black male, angrily says to the news reporter, “I gotta go to Ross right now homie. If I don’t get there I’m gonna get fired. I got six — kids to feed.” And like the other angry driver said, but in his own way, “Deal with it the — way. Not like this.”. On November 8, 2014, another BLM protest forced Tim Wolfe, former president of University of Missouri, to resign from his position. According to Rep. Steven Cookson, chairman of the Missouri House Committee, on Higher education, “can no longer effectively lead”. He was harassed by protesters, who blocked his car at a homecoming parade. This was called a “victory” for the BLM activist.
Most recently, during the 2016 Presidential Election, BLM head founder Alicia Garza said in an interview Melissa Harris-Perry, “I would not publicly support Hillary Clinton.” Her reason is Hillary’s affiliation to the campaign of Bill Clinton. She played a role in his policies that he created during his term as the president. Alicia voted for Bernie Sanders who lost. Then there’s the BLM protest against Donald Trump against him being racist and his duly noted behavior. With this, BLM has influenced a lot of their followers and other black people to not vote for neither Hillary or Trump. Plus, the media gives a boost to all the hate that Trump expresses and more negative looks on black people. This goes against their mission of “(re)build Black liberation movement” and help them bring in “a world where Black lives are no longer systematically and intentionally targeted for demise.” The media takes hold of this fact and makes BLM look like a bunch of angry black people who only care about police brutality and white supremacy.
Another social group that is similar to Black Lives Matter is the National Organization for Women (N.O.W). It is the oldest and biggest feminist organization in the United States. NOW has been around for 50 years, formed on June 30, 1966 by Betty Friedan and Catherine Conroy. It is said that it all started after Friedan wrote the three letters on a paper napkin: “NOW” then invited fifteen women to her hotel room. At the meeting Conroy slid a five-dollar bill onto the table and said, “Put your money down and sign your name.” And with those fifteen people, the national Organization for woman was born. Their statement purpose was, “We, men and woman who hereby constitute as the National Organization for Women, believe that the time has come for a new movement toward true equality for all women in America, and toward a fully equal partnership of the sexes, as part of the world-wide revolution of human rights now taking place within and beyond our national borders.” Today, NOW has 550 chapters in all 50 U.S. states and in Washington D.C. and 500,000 members, with Terry O’Neil as president and recently elected Toni Van Pelt vice president. Their new purpose is, “to bring women into full participation in the mainstream of American society now, exercising all the privileges and responsibilities thereof in truly equal partnership with men.” Their goal is to “take to action” about equality for all woman stated in their website. With this goal, they fight issues like: reproductive rights and justice (abortion), economic justice (equal pay), ending violence against women (rape), radical justice (woman in politics), LGBTQ rights, and constitutional rights (equal right for men and woman).
Now before getting into the stereotypes and facts on feminist, and NOW, it is important to know what feminism is. The definition of feminism is “the advocacy of women’s rights on the basis of the equality of the sexes” this basically means equal rights for everybody. That was the original goal and purpose of why NOW was formed in 1966 and what feminist truly believed in. But that is not the case anymore, a lot of feminist don’t go by the true meaning of feminism and are sexist without realizing it. This is third-wave feminism, a movement based on patriarchy, which is the fact that women are excluded from society or government by the power men have, and rape culture, which does not exist. The third-wave feminist, also known as feminazis, believe that all men are misogynist, woman haters, and fascist, all which are common words used by them. With this in mind it can be understood how NOW can be seen as being a part of the third-wave because they are feminist, which is not all true.
As discussed in the previous paragraph, NOW believes in the original definition of feminism. But now that the third-wave feminist have transformed their purpose and goal to a point where it’s hard to differentiate what feminism is to them anymore. This is the same reason why a lot of men and women are afraid of being labeled as a feminist, because it is viewed as a bad. With crazy naked protesters, sexist views towards men, and fake feminist promoting this third wave on social media, YouTube, and Tumbler, it’s hard to see the truth. Even with the third-wave of feminism happening, NOW does stay true to what their purpose and goal is. Besides marching and protesting, NOW activist contact senators by email, letter, and social media addressing issues that not only affect both men and women. They publish articles on “Letters to the Editor” of about current events. Sometimes NOW litigates on abortion or child care, and engage in nonviolent civil disobedience. They elect their own feminist activist into office to hold their friends and enemies accountable for themselves. NOW even expose fake social groups that promote the wrong message on different issues like: U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Concerned Women for America, Focus on the Family, Independent Women’s Forum, etc. This does not go without saying that all NOW feminist are like this and support the third-wave, but it is still good to know that there is feminist who know what feminism is and fight for it.
Of course, there are social groups that don’t have positive missions, purposes or goals that can benefit society at all. A perfect example is Antifa, an “anti-fascist” organization that exist around the world. Antifa was not always the violent social group that caused property damage and put people in hospitals. After the fall of Hitler’s Third Reich was destroyed and political influences were exhausted this caused Germany’s civil society cease to function in many areas, due to the Nazi’s grip on power weakening with regime supporters, mainly in middle- and upper classes. There weren’t many people to take charge again of the many Communists and Social Democrats that had been either murdered by the Nazis, or died in the during the war. Despite the despair that, Germany’s socialist labor movement and it’s dedication to their traditions. They overcame Hitler’s damage in the factories of its industrial cities, and began gathering up the fragments as soon as open political activity became possible. This was an attempt to establish a cross-party alliance between the Communist and Social Democratic workers in 1932.
There were many names the social group was called like: “Antifaschistische Ausschüsse (Antifascist committees),” “Antifaschistische Kommittees,” or the now famous “Antifaschistische Aktion (Anti Fascist Action)”, then it was called “Antifa” for short. Back then, Antifa focus on a hunting down Nazi criminals and underground Nazi partisans, known as “WereWolves” and important concerns affecting the general population. For example, Braunschweig’s Antifa printed a twelve-point program demanding, the removal of Nazis from all administrative bodies and their immediate replacement with “competent antifascists” (sane people), laws to prosecute local fascists, and the reestablishment of the public health-care system. As years went by, the political power became stronger and the Antifa movements was neutralized and diverted back into the old divisions between Social Democratic Party (SPD) and Communist Party (KPD), but the city’s rebellious tradition and penchant for unity in action would reemerge in 1948, when widespread anger at drastic price rises triggered a citywide general strike that encompassed 79 percent of the workforce and spread to several other localities. The movements were short, and was slowly erased from history for both Cold War-era German states, and was ignored in schools and mainstream history. Today Antifa’s legacy is almost entirely lost to the of the SPD and KPD.
With the history of Antifa’s past lost, the action of Antifa today has turned into a violent group with false beliefs in what they believe in. They say that they want to fight “against the rise of racism and fascism in our communities.” But facts and a bunch of YouTube videos, shows that they are just spewing a nonsense and that the majority of them don’t even know what they are talking about. Their only tactic they use is excessive violence like damaging businesses, smashing and setting fire to cars, and assaulting people, sending a lot of them to hospitals. They even clash with other protesters creating more unnecessary violence. The worst thing of all is that Antifa’s members cover up their faces with mask and/or bandanas, and conceal their body so that they cannot be identified by police.
That only makes them look like cowards, but it has back fired many times. One example is a video showing Antifa members arguing with Trump supporters at a pro- Trump demonstration in Berkeley on August 13, 2017. Out of the corner of the frame, a masked Antifa member hits a Trump supporter in the head with a bike lock, and disappears into the crowd. The Trump supporter started bleeding, hard from the head; luckily the man survives with people helping him and the ambulance coming in time. From that video, a man hunt was created to find the Antifa member who have done this. Soon enough the man was found and identified as a local professor at Diablo Valley College, Eric Clanton. Berkeley police reported that he hit five Trump supporters that day with the bike lock, injuring three of them. Police also reported that Clanton was arrested the week before, and was charged with four counts of assault with a deadly weapon; and one count of wearing a mask. So, it’s safe to say that their tactics don’t work and result in consequences; being labeled as a felon on your record.
Learning about social groups can bring light to what they do for society and what you believe in. Seeing the pros and cons of these social groups exposes the not-so-perfect tactics and missions that they claim to go on. The important thing to understand when researching these social groups, is knowing that all the information you read will not be true all the time. Separate knowledge from facts, facts from opinion, and when you see the truth you want, you can put you findings in order to have your solid answer(s).
Black Lives Matter
- “Black Lives Matter.” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 04 Aug. 2017. Web. 08 Aug. 2017.
- Brown, Ashraf HendricksRyan Lenora. “Why Africans are showing solidarity with Black Lives Matter movement.” The Christian Science Monitor. The Christian Science Monitor, 15 July 2016. Web. 08 Aug. 2017.
Wahlquist, Calla. “Black Lives Matter awarded 2017 Sydney peace prize.” The Guardian. Guardian News and Media, 22 May 2017. Web. 08 Aug. 2017.
- “Federalism and State Powers.” Supreme Court Drama: Cases That Changed America. Encyclopedia.com, n.d. Web. 08 Aug. 2017.
Lepapa, Naipanoi. “The Major Problems That Africa is Facing Today in 2017.” The African Exponent. The African Exponent, 05 Apr. 2017. Web. 08 Aug. 2017.
“Trayvon Martin Shooting Fast Facts.” CNN. Cable News Network, 22 June 2017. Web. 08 Aug. 2017.
“State & Local Government.” The White House. The United States Government, 08 Mar. 2017. Web. 08 Aug. 2017.
ElleMagazine. “The #BlackLivesMatter Movement Won’t Support Hilary Clinton | ELLE.” YouTube. YouTube, 28 June 2016. Web. 08 Aug. 2017.
TEDtalksDirector. “An interview with the founders of Black Lives Matter | Alicia Garza, Patrisse Cullors, Opal Tometi.” YouTube. YouTube, 20 Dec. 2016. Web. 08 Aug. 2017.
“How Is Black Lives Matter Winning?” Dissent Magazine. N.p., n.d. Web. 08 Aug. 2017.
Smartermelon. “Black Lives Matter: The Failed Methodology.” YouTube. YouTube, 18 Mar. 2017. Web. 08 Aug. 2017.
Workneh, Lilly. “11 Big Accomplishments Black Activists Achieved In 2015.” The Huffington Post. TheHuffingtonPost.com, 22 Dec. 2015. Web. 08 Aug. 2017.
National Organization for Women (NOW)
- “Statement of Purpose.” National Organization for Women. N.p., n.d. Web. 08 Aug. 2017.
“Media Center.” National Organization for Women. N.p., n.d. Web. 08 Aug. 2017.
“Issues.” National Organization for Women. N.p., n.d. Web. 08 Aug. 2017.
4. “Crisis In Family Courts.” National Organization for Women. N.p., n.d. Web. 08 Aug. 2017.
5. “Voter Mobilization.” National Organization for Women. N.p., n.d. Web. 08 Aug. 2017.
6. “This Day in History: National Organization for Women was Founded.” National Archives and Records Administration. National Archives and Records Administration, n.d. Web. 08 Aug. 2017.
7. NOWvideos. “50 Years of the National Organization for Women.” YouTube. YouTube, 04 Aug. 2016. Web. 08 Aug. 2017.
Antifa (Anti Fascist):
1. DeVega, Chauncey. “LISTEN: Antifa is an organizing strategy, not a group.” Salon. N.p., 25 July 2017. Web. 08 Aug. 2017.
2. “About us.” Anti-Fascist Network. N.p., 16 Aug. 2013. Web. 08 Aug. 2017.
3. Ratner, Paul. “Meet Antifa, the Violent Anti-Fascist Movement That Fights the Alt-Right in the Streets.” Big Think. N.p., 21 May 2017. Web. 08 Aug. 2017.
4. Carter. “Antifa Terrorist Who Beat Trump Supporter in Head WITH BIKE LOCK Identified as Local Professor! (VIDEO).” The Gateway Pundit. N.p., 22 Apr. 2017. Web. 08 Aug. 2017.
5. Ohlheiser, Abby, and Cleve R. Wootson Jr. “A man clobbered protesters with a bike lock at a Berkeley rally, police say. The Internet went looking for him.” The Washington Post. WP Company, 03 June 2017. Web. 08 Aug. 2017.
6. SHUTTERSHOT45. “Trump supporter smashed in the head with U-Lock by masked Antifa Thug in Berkeley.” YouTube. YouTube, 16 Apr. 2017. Web. 08 Aug. 2017.
7. Heavy. “ACTION COMPILATION: G20 Antifa Protesters Night of Violent Riots in Hamburg.” YouTube. YouTube, 08 July 2017. Web. 08 Aug. 2017.