#BlackLivesMatter; from movement to hate group

Cambrie Sevaaetasi

Bill O’Reilly called supporters of the #BlackLivesMatter movement anarchists, a hate group and claimed that they are trying to tear down the country. His reasoning for making these accusations derive from the recent police killings and groups gathering in the name of #BlackLivesMatter, encouraging violence against police.

Statistically speaking, police killings across the nation for the first half of the year are lower than the first half of 2014. This statistic has yet to make it into one of O’Reilly’s segments.

These blanket statements are in no way an accurate depiction of the movement or the network. For those of you who don’t know, there is the movement #BlackLivesMatter, which consists of people gathering in the name of #BlackLivesMatter to promote peace and to bring awareness of police brutality and the injustices of the black community, and then there is the network #BlackLivesMatter, which consists of 26 chapters in the U.S. and one in Toronto, Canada. O’Reilly refers to the movement #BlackLivesMatter and the network #BlackLivesMatter as being the same entity, which they are not.

O’Reilly’s rants are prime examples of poor journalism. In an era where information, especially information regarding this high profile topic, is readily at our fingertips, there is no excuse for these false statements.

Obviously having not done the qualified research, he now makes unqualified remarks. The amount of peaceful protests done in the name of #BlackLivesMatter far exceed the amount of protests promoting and/or conducting violence against police. To say the few that are violent and/or promote violence are representative of all who are in any type of affiliation with #BlackLivesMatter fits precisely in the boundaries of the problem they are addressing, over-generalization.

Over-generalization occurs when one takes evidence from one situation and applies it to many. This leaves much room for error, which O’Reilly makes good use of. This is the very thing the movement and the network are working to fix, the over-generalization/stereotyping of African Americans. If anything, O’Reilly has further legitimized the movement and the network’s cause through his coverage.

Both the movement and the network are not anarchists, they are not hate groups and they do not wish to overthrow the American government. Challenging the government does not mean tearing it down, but rather looking to make changes where they are needed in hopes to build a more efficient government benefiting all of its citizens.

At the end of one of his rants he invites Jay-Z and Beyoncé to explain why they donated money to the network, #BlackLivesMatter, and not once mentions inviting the creators of the network they are donating to. Clarity might not be what he’s looking for, but rather to use his platform as a means to promote his personal beliefs.

What’s scary about this is that nothing is sacred anymore, not even our news. News is not only new information, but should be new, accurate information. Information given to the people for them to build their own ideas and beliefs with, these days the ideas and beliefs come prepackaged in the name of news and good movements and networks like #BlackLivesMatter are being portrayed in these packages as something they are not.