OPINION -- Since the 2014 protests and riots in Ferguson, Miss., Black Lives Matter (BLM) groups have formed around America protesting the shootings and deaths of black people.
While BLM as a whole tries to force change and make a difference, the Toronto group has been making a negative name for themselves over the past few years.
From blocking the Allen Road off-ramp for two hours, to taking the 2016 Pride Parade hostage, BLMTO has gone to extremes to try and get their message across.
While their message and reasoning might be understood, their oft narcissistic and dangerous tactics may be making them more enemies than friends.
Their blockage of Allen Road for two-hours during rush hour traffic, was to protest after two black men were shot by police officers.
While merit can be given for their protest reasons, they chose to endanger not only their lives, but the lives of everyone else stuck on that stretch of road, as cars started to drive against the flow of traffic to try and get out.
After the blockade, writer and activist Desmond Cole gave the impression that this was their only course of action since people refused to listen through official channels.
Cole went on to say it was not about people being inconvenienced for one night on the highway, but about the years of brutality against a community.
While he puts a nice spin on it, the truth is that BLMTO could have taken other actions.
Those people on Allen Road that night had places to be, families to take care of, and while everyone can appreciate they’re upset over lost lives, BLMTO doesn’t seem to care or notice that everyone else still has a right to life, and to live it without being considered a monster for not taking notice of their cause.
BLM claims to protest against police brutality in general, but when it’s not a black person being affected where are the protests?
On July. 26, 2015, a 19-year-old white male named Zachary Hammond was shot in his car by a police officer, while on a first date. Hammond’s date Tori Morton was eating an ice cream cone when they were approached by the officer.
Hammond was shot twice, both bullets were shown by autopsy to have entered from his back. Even though the officer says that Hammond was driving towards him at the time, which was his explanation for shooting, dashboard camera footage showed that Hammond was driving parallel to, and not towards him.
While many things about this event don’t add up, the officer in question was cleared. But where were the angry protests and rage against the cops?
There wasn’t any, and it’s because groups like BLM who claim to care about the mistreatment of all people by the cops, only take action when a black person is involved.
On July. 3, the BLMTO group once again held people hostage to get their point across, this time it was those attending the Toronto Pride Parade.
Early into a parade that included Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, BLMTO chose to block College and Yonge Streets, by sitting there and not letting the parade proceed until their demands were met.
What’s worse is that BLMTO was an honourary group at pride this year, yet they chose to hold hostage the parade that wanted to honour their activism against police brutality, to further their own agenda.
This group wants to take the spotlight away from others even though there are other groups being persecuted far more in this country, and across the continent right now.
Because of international terrorism and ISIS related incidents, people have taken a newfound hate out against Muslim, and brown people in general. People are attacked in grocery stores, they’re spat on and beaten in the streets, and they have their houses and Mosques defaced because people choose to hate them.
But while these people are suffering, BLM isn’t asking others to take notice, they aren’t telling people to stand up, they only try and force their own ideology on others when they think it’ll garner the biggest reach.
So next time you hear BLM make a speech, or protest against the inequality they feel, remember that there are people out there that are being persecuted while BLM chooses not to notice.
All lives do matter, because when people are killed, attacked, or hurt in this country and around the world, it’s a tragedy.
One group cannot say they’re the only ones who feel attacked, because everyone has at some point felt that way in their life, so stand up for everyone and don’t let groups like BLM bully you into thinking you’re the problem.
Right now their disregard for groups other than themselves, make them the persecutors that they claim to fight so hard against.