BY MOSES MATENGA
A UNITED States political expert has predicted that the #BlackLivesMatter movement will persist regardless of who wins the country’s highly-charged presidential election set for next month as the protection of African-Americans remains a salient political issue.
Lorenzo Morris, a professor and chair emeritus of political science at Howard University in Washington, DC, said in the absence of a coherent national policy group that really attracted black following, such movements would remain alive and continue to push their agenda.
Morris was addressing more than 200 journalists from across the globe who are participating in a Foreign Press Centre Virtual Reporting Tour.
“Well, I think it will probably grow under either, because remember the issues that they confront are heavily at the State and local level, and it’s a very decentralised group,” Morris said.
“So that in either case it’s likely to persist, it might be more disruptive and a continuation of the current presidency, but even in the absence of it, it is likely to continue. So in either case, in the absence of a coherent national policy group that really attracts black following, then you’re going to see groups like that occurring.”
The #BlackLivesMatter movement is a decentralised political and social movement advocating for non-violent civil disobedience in protest against incidents of police brutality and all racially motivated violence against black people.
It gained visibility after the killing of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police this year, sparking massive racial protests.
Morris added that the African-American vote had been a stable contributor to the development of the US politics.
“One of the things that is often overlooked about the African American vote or the black vote, as we more commonly say, is that across space and across time, since the 1960s, it has been a stable and constant contributor to the development of national and local American politics,” he said.
“Finally, that stability holds a lot of promise for what may happen 33 days from now in terms of turnout, which is the thing I want to focus on. In spite of the disappointment exhibited by many commentators after the 2016 election, in which they said the vote declined, I want to argue basically that it did not decline, it simply stabilised.”
He said there were expectations of a higher turnout of the African-American voters given the movements for participation in black voting because black voting was always mobilised by
“It used to be in the churches, but now it is in other areas in Black Lives Matter has an influence over the young people, but also the old people.”