We would dare to say that the internet is the most powerful place in the world. Not only is it home to millions of selfies and TikTok videos, but it has catalyzed the way we approach civil rights. Movements like #MeToo and #IStandWithAhmed, popularly labeled hashtag activism, have gained the support of millions of followers and helped spread awareness about discrimination, and recently, one of these internet-born movements, Black Lives Matter, was awarded a Nobel Peace Prize nomination.
The Black Lives Matter movement was just nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize.
In 2013, the murder of Trayvon Martin shook America to its core and inspired the birth of the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement. Almost a decade after the acquittal of George Zimmerman, on Jan. 29, BLM was nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize by Norwegian MP Petter Eide for its efforts in fighting racial injustice.
In his nomination papers, Eide wrote, “I find that one of the key challenges we have seen in America, but also in Europe and Asia, is the kind of increasing conflict based on inequality. Black Lives Matter has become a very important worldwide movement to fight racial injustice. They have had a tremendous achievement in raising global awareness and consciousness about racial injustice.”
He praised the group for not only inspiring change domestically, but worldwide. He continued, “They have been able to mobilize people from all groups of society, not just African-Americans, not just oppressed people, it has been a broad movement, in a way which has been different from their predecessors.”
While the Norwegian politician insisted that his recent nomination was not a reflection of his views on domestic U.S. policy, he did refer to the movement as “the strongest global force against racial injustice.”
Since Eide’s announcement, some right-wing Twitter users have asserted that the movement has had a violent history — a point he also addressed in his nomination. Eide wrote, “Studies have shown that most of the demonstrations organized by Black Lives Matter have been peaceful. Of course, there have been incidents, but most of them have been caused by the activities of either the police or counter-protestors.”
In the past, BLM has also been awarded a MacBride Prize and a Sydney Peace Prize, making it the first time that a movement, rather than a person, was awarded the honor. The Sydney Peace Foundation explained, “Climate change is escalating fast, increasing inequality and racism are feeding divisiveness, and we are in the middle of the worst refugee crisis since World War II. Yet many establishment leaders across the world stick their heads in the sand or turn their backs on justice, fairness and equality."
Who are the other 2021 Nobel Peace Prize nominees?
Along with BLM, other nominees for the Nobel Peace Prize include humanitarian Ravinder Singh, former President Donald Trump, Bill Gates, Michelle Obama, and more than 300 other candidates.
If you are looking for ways to donate your time or money to Black Lives Matter and other antiracist organizations, we have created a list of resources to get you started.