The Truth About Deviance and How it Relates to #BlackLivesMatter and #DefundThePolice
Summer 2020 has been a summer that will, without a doubt, go down in the books. Not only has the world been working to fight a pandemic, but the world is trying to fight for a greater equality and two hashtags have taken over social media and the public.
#BlackLivesMatter and #DefundThePolice spread like wildfire after multiple officers murdered George Floyd, a Black man who had been accused of using a counterfeit bill. While the Black Lives Matter movement has existed for years, this past Summer has been a time in history when millions have come together to fight for justice and for what is right.
When thinking about how deviance and control may relate to the Black Lives Matter movement and #DefundThePolice, I can see why there are individuals out there who are against the movement.
(Let us quickly define "deviance" - it is an action or behavior that is not socially
accepted or goes against a societal norm. So think something as simple as a
a person standing too close to you in the elevator or having sex before marriage in
Let me clarify that - I understand why some individuals may believe that those fighting for equal rights are deviant, but that doesn't mean I think they are right. I believe that those opposed to the movement, are the ones who are really deviant. To all the individuals out there who stand against #BlackLivesMatter and #DefundThePolice, it is time for you to wake up and acknowledge your racism. You are simply just comfortable living with the mindset that plagued the generations that came before. It is time you stop conforming to what you think the norm should be and act on what the norm has actually is… (psst. if you haven’t figured out what that means yet, it's equality)
If you think you fall into that category, here is some food for thought.
A long time ago lived a man named Emile Durkheim, a well-known and respected French Sociologist, who believed that deviance was necessary for any society to properly function. He believed that human beings needed to be controlled and, in a way, forced to conform to societal norms. This way of thinking is the ideology that our previous generations grew up with. To them, they saw any act against the “norm” as deviant. Conforming to society and the unspoken moral codes of society was the only way for someone to not be considered deviant. Would my great-grandmother have seen me today and labeled me as deviant for half of the things I do? Certainly. But would she have also labeled me a criminal? Most likely not… (but to those of you thinking to yourself, “maybe that is because you don’t do anything criminal”, I guarantee you that most of the people you believe are criminal because of the color of their skin, aren’t criminal either!)
So, let us get something straight here. Deviant does not mean criminal.
This is something that many get wrong. Society has been taught that if someone is deviant, then they are also criminal. This is simply not the case. Durkheim believed that individuals need to put themselves aside for the good of the collective if society is to function properly. The individuals who support #BlackLivesMatter and #DefundThe Police are not the ones who need to be putting themselves aside. The individuals against the movement are the ones who should surrender themselves as we are no longer in a world overtaken by segregation but a world where equality is the norm.
There may have been a time in history when
It is time that everyone wakes up and realizes that those fighting for #BlackLivesMatter and #DefundThePolice are the ones who are doing what is necessary for society to function and to get to a place where it can thrive as a world built on equality.