7 Tangible Examples Of Real Change Inspired By Black Lives Matter Protests & Activists In The Wake Of George Floyd's Murder

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6 Tangible Examples Of Real Change Inspired By Black Lives Matter Protests & Activists In The Wake Of George Floyd's Murder

Protests surrounding police brutality and racism in America have been going on since George Floyd’s death on May 25, 2020. After he was murdered by officer Derek Chauvin, the United States (and many other countries) went into an uproar. 

Signs saying Black Lives Matter and I can’t breathe can be seen in major cities around the world. Although police brutality is not a new issue, the Black Lives Matter protests prove that the Black community and their allies have had more than enough. 

Unfortunately, it took a graphic video of Chauvin kneeling on Floyd’s neck for almost nine minutes for many people to understand and see, without a doubt, the horrors of systemic racism.

Throughout these trying times, we have been exposed to the horrid truths of this country. It’s disheartening to think that not just one single police officer but multiple officers who swore to protect would ignore the cries of a man who had allegedly used a counterfeit bill

We can no longer deny that racism and bias are still alive in the United States.

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Racists can’t hide any longer. We see them in our justice system. We see them in our government. We see them on the streets. 

Although the purpose of the current Black Lives Matter protests remains the same — to express anger and sadness and demand change — there have been increased negative ramifications to speaking out. 

Protestors are being tear-gassed, kicked, arrested, and even shot at. The movement to eradicate violence is unfortunately creating more violence. So, it’s normal to wonder if all of this commotion is worth it. 

Is what the protestors are saying being heard? Or is this just another opportunity for the bad cops of the world to establish their dominance? 

No matter the outcome to these displays of infuriation, this is an unprecedented call to action. Time’s up for police brutality — the Black community deserves the same safety as the rest of the country. 

Here are 6 examples of real change the protests and activism have inspired in the wake of George Floyd’s murder. 

1. The idea of defunding the police is being set in motion. 

According to CNN, this idea was first proposed in 2014 after the death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, MO. It suggests that defunding the police will prevent future brutality and put the care of citizens in the hands of mental health providers, social workers, and victim advocates. 

A community advocacy organization in Minneapolis, MPD150, strives to disband the police altogether. They argue that “law and order isn’t abetted by law enforcement, but through education, jobs and mental health services that low-income communities are often denied.” 

Members of the Minneapolis city council have already stated that they intend to disband their police force. Although it is still in the discussion stage, they have begun working on a new model of public safety. 

Los Angeles is currently playing around with a plan of defunding. Mayor Eric Garcetti, agreed to cut a proposal made to increase the LAPD budget. He is considering decreasing between $100 million and $150 million of the $1.86 billion budget. 

2. Cops reality TV show dropped by Paramount Network. 

The show was temporarily pulled off air in late May after the protests against police brutality began to flourish. It was reported that the long-running show was removed permanently on June 10.

Cops is made by Langley Productions and it’s still unknown whether or not they will continue to create more content. However, Cops has been presently put to rest after 33 seasons of allowing viewers to follow police officers on patrol. 

A similar show, Live P.D., was also cancelled by A&E on June 10, only a month after being renewed for an additional 160 episodes. 

3. House Democrats plan to release a package to end racial profiling, the excessive use of force, and qualified immunity for police officers. 

Nancy Pelosi spoke on behalf of the House Democrats, saying that they will address “the loss of trust between police departments and the communities they serve.” 

A summary of the bill obtained by CNN said it would include anti-lynching legislation, legislation to increase training, ban chokeholds, and create a National Police Misconduct Registry. 

The Republican House has not yet created a plan to fight against this brutality but Kevin McCarthy, House Minority Leader, assures of the commitment to improve police training. 

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4. New York lawmakers voted to repeal 50-A. 

According to New York Daily News, the 50-A law prevents the public from knowing about police misconduct and disciplinary actions taken against them. Established in 1976, this law shields police officers from being perceived negatively by citizens. 

This law has before been challenged after the death of Eric Garner in 2014. After continually getting shut down, the debate of 50-A is apparent again. It’s a call for “transparency” within the justice system. 

Along with the hope of repealing the 50-A law, New York legislation proposed a bill banning chokeholds, mandating police departments to provide medical training to officers, making it a hate crime to call 911 and provide a false accusation based on a person’s race, and enforcing the state attorney general to appoint a special prosecutor in the event of death by police. 

5. Confederate statues are being removed in states like Virginia, Alabama, Kentucky, and Florida. 

A nationwide call to remove confederate statues surfaced after the murder of nine black churchgoers in South Carolina in 2015, as stated by Time. Protests against the removal of what some consider to be “history” erupted quickly. 

Nevertheless, these statues have always been rooted in racism. And we’ve now reached the point where state leaders are understanding exactly what Confederate statues represent — white supremacy. 

One of the largest Confederate statues, located in Richmond, VA, was announced to be taken down on June 4. 

6. Sincere push for Georgia to create hate-crime laws. 

There are only four states that do not have hate-crime laws set in place — Arkansas, South Carolina, Wyoming, and Georgia. But recently, Georgia House Speaker, David Ralston, said they are committed to changing that.  

House Bill 426 states that Georgia “would provide sentencing guidelines for anyone convicted of targeting a victim based on race, color, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, gender, mental disability, or physical disability,” according to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

This change won’t come without its roadblocks, as it’s currently stalled in the Senate committee. Head of the state Senate, Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan, spoke to the work this bill needs. In spite of everything, he’s aware it’s time for Georgia to relinquish hate and violence.

7. The Aunt Jemima brand will change its name and 130-year-old image. 

You can soon serve Aunt Jemima pancakes and syrup without the racism as Quaker Oats has acknowledged the brand’s off-color origin, as reported by NBC News. The Black woman known as Aunt Jemima was originally created as a minstrel character that portrays Blacks as dim-witted and buffoonish. 

After a call to action, heavily motivated by the current protests, Quaker Oats said in a press release, “As we work to make progress toward racial equality through several initiatives, we must also take a hard look at our portfolio of brands and ensure they reflect our values and meet our consumers’ expectations.”

The new packaging will begin to appear in the fall of 2020 and the company has agreed to donate at least $5 million over the next five years in support of the Black community. 

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Isabella Pacinelli is a writer who covers love, relationships, sex, self care, body confidence, women’s health, college, and entertainment topics.

Editor's Note: This article was originally published on June 15, 2020 and was updated with the latest information.