Black Lives Matter cofounder Alicia Garza speaks at SMU

#BlackLivesMatter cofounder Alicia Garza spoke at SMU last night, where she eloquently spoke of the origin’s movements and planted several thoughts and ideas in the audience members minds.

“Hashtags don’t start social movements.”

“All lives (should) matter. That’s the truth. But in this country, black lives don’t matter. That’s why we must say, ‘black lives matter.’”

“Black lives matter less by every metric of life expectancy and wage earnings compared to white lives.”

“Black Lives Matter is not anti police. It’s anti being killed by the state for no reason.”

“Don’t sit at home and wonder which civil rights leader you would have been if you’d been alive in the 1960s. If you’re sitting at home now, you would have been sitting at home back then too. You are you. If you want to make a difference, stand up and do something.”

Garza said the origin of the movement was a “love letter to the black community” she wrote in 2013 after George Zimmerman was found innocent in the Trayvon Martin trial. (She wondered aloud why it was called “the Trayvon Martin trial” instead of “the Zimmerman trial,” when Zimmerman was supposed to be the one on trial.) Her letter, which she posted on Facebook, ended with the phrase, “Black Lives Matter,” and the movement grew from there.

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