Black Lives Matter movement and the 2016 presidential election

DUBUQUE – A hot topic this election season is the Black Lives Matter movement.

The movement often divides people between supporters and opponents. People who support the movement believe that African Americans are treated unfairly by law enforcement and other ways of institutional racism.

People on the other side of the issue don’t recognize a problem. The claim “all lives matter” is usually said in opposition to this movement.

In Dubuque, the Dubuque Chapter of the NAACP President Anthony Allen is in full support of the Black Lives Matter movement.

He explains, “The movement is about making sure government and those who are accountable for our safety make sure they understand that black people, lives matter. It’s not saying that any other lives doesn’t matter.”

He believes that media in the United States usually paints African Americans as bad people or criminals. As a result of this, he believes people grow up to be conditioned to think African Americans are bad. These beliefs, he says, can in turn impact how a police officer interacts with African Americans.

“They are already in a high stress position,” he sympathizes, “but when you constantly grow up in America and you constantly see on TV local media and everything that this person is bad, this person is bad, its only human when you’re in your own…comfort zone, that when you see black, big, male and 90% of the time you see negative response, you’re gonna act negative.”

Loras College student Carrie Crabill has a personal connection to police officers. Her dad and brother are police officers and her boyfriend wants to become one.

For this reason, she is not in support of the Black lives matter movement.

She said, “I really don’t think police officers target anybody, but it’s just kind of like wrong place, wrong time type of deal.”

Professor of Psychology at Loras College Lisa Grinde participated in a panel called, “Does Race Matter?”

She says society as a whole has made race matter.

She explains that there is data to prove discrimination of minorities is still happening today.

“People don’t believe it’s happening, but it’s happening more covertly,” she explains. “We still see we have plenty of data to suggest that there is discrimination, not just of African Americans, but of other minority groups.”

The NAACP isn’t endorsing any specific candidate this election. Instead, they focus on getting voters registered to vote, and empowering them through education.

Allen said, “We believe that if people are educated on what it means to vote, then they will in turn register.”

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