Here's All The Good The Protests Have Accomplished So Far

They Are Protests, Not Riots, And Here’s All The Good They’ve Accomplished So Far

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The streets have been full for nearly two weeks. People have shown up by the thousands in the wake of death of George Floyd. The call to action has been heard around the world. And depending on what you read, the movement is a protest or a riot.

Words matter. Names matter. The language you use to describe a movement can frame the way future generations learn it for centuries to come. A riot, as defined by Merriam Webster, is “a violent disturbance of the peace by a crowd.” Whereas a protest is “a solemn declaration of opinion and usually of dissent.”

Protesters march on Hiawatha Avenue while decrying the killing of George Floyd on May 26, 2020 in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
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There’s nothing inherently wrong with a riot—history is rife with stories of uprisings against oppressive and unfair governments, and a riot to protest injustice is arguably better than a riot to celebrate a sports team victory—but to call the movement currently taking the streets a riot distracts from the truth: The thousands of people on the street are largely gathering peacefully to declare their opposition to a system that has consistently proven to devalue Black lives.

Calling the movement a riot, rather than a protest, makes it easy to ignore the significant impact the protests have made. And there have been many.

Scary Mommy put together a non-exhaustive list of all the things the Black Lives Matter protests have accomplished in just two weeks.

The changes are real. Some can be quantified and some cannot. Some will no doubt go down in history as being invaluable, while others remain steps on the path toward progress. But they are all long overdue, and these changes will likely be the reason someone lives rather than dies. And that in itself is worth protesting for.