When you think of deviance, what’s the first thing that comes to mind? Speeding? Stealing? Gangs? Assault? Nudity? Whatever it may be, I think we can all agree that they are things that transgress the norms of society. There are some acts of deviance that are commonly disregarded and don’t usually stimulate negative reactions from the public (i.e. driving above the speed limit) because it is something that we all do. On the other hand, there are certain acts of deviance that generate a great deal of turmoil when they are executed. Some of these acts include rape, assault, battery, and homicide.
One of the most recent acts of deviance that has caused a reckoning worldwide was committed by a white man, the man responsible for the cruel and unjust murder of George Floyd. For one of the few times, it was not a person of color that the media was portraying as deviant rather, a white person. It’s unfortunate that George Floyd’s death, along with hundreds of other innocent black women and men, had to occur for the #BlackLivesMatter movement to gain the attention that it’s been vigorously trying to get for years. Nonetheless, the BLM movement has created a united front consisting of people from all across the globe and has led to some of the most memorable protests in American history. While the vast majority of BLM protests have been peaceful, a small percentage have been reported as violent. Both these non-violent and violent demonstrations have caused a very much needed disruption in our society and while they have helped bring deep rooted issues to the surface, it is important to realize that these issues including those of systemic racism, police brutality, and social injustice are anything but “new”. The black community has been facing these issues for hundreds of years and they will continue to do so until systems are restructured and the right people are put into positions of power.
Additionally, the outrage from the public, and specifically the black community, in response to these unlawful killings, has resulted in a lack of social control and social order. Certain BLM demonstrations have manifested into riots which have led to the vandalism of property, businesses, and physical assault between protestors and police. Norms and laws are being violated and the boundaries between what is “right” and “wrong” are starting to be redefined. It’s about time that people start challenging and causing disruption to the social order. We have let far too many injustices go unaccounted for as a result of our compliance to these norms that have been put into place by higher authorities to keep us controlled. The BLM movement has been a gateway to education for many of us and has encouraged the conversations that we once did not want to have. With the support and actions of others, the BLM movement will remain a strong presence in societies across the globe and the fight for systemic change will continue until we witness it.