The Black Lives Matter movement, which has proven itself a defining force for human rights advocacy in our time, has been nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize.
The nomination was made by a Norwegian member of Parliament, Petter Eide, according to the Guardian.
Three Black women—Alicia Garza, Patrice Cullors, and Opal Tometi—founded the Black Lives Matter movement in 2013, initially with a hashtag that went viral on Twitter after George Zimmerman was acquitted for the killing of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin.
Despite backlash to the concept that Black lives matter, including from people who responded to the phrase with copy cat statements like “Blue Lives Matter” and the disingenuous “All Lives Matter,” it has grown into a globally recognized affirmation of a truth that unfortunately continues to need to be said. Last year’s uprisings against racist violence in the U.S. last year also inspired similar demonstrations in other countries around the world, many of which also echoed the slogan Black Lives Matter.
In his nomination letter to the Nobel committee, Eide pointed to the widespread impact of the movement.
From the Guardian:
“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,” Eide said. “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.”
Eide, who has previously nominated human rights activists from Russia and China for the prize, said one other thing that impressed him about the Black Lives Matter movement was the way “they have been able to mobilise 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.”
A majority of adults in the U.S. support the Black Lives Matter movement, according to polling by the Pew Research Center, though white and Hispanic adults’ support of BLM has dipped since last summer.
“Studies have shown that most of the demonstrations organized by Black Lives Matter have been peaceful,” Eide said in his nomination. “Of course there have been incidents, but most of them have been caused by the activities of either the police or counter-protestors.”
The Armed Conflict Location and Event Data project found that 93% of demonstrations organized by BLM between May and August 2020 were non-violent.
“Awarding the peace prize to Black Lives Matter, as the strongest global force against racial injustice, will send a powerful message that peace is founded on equality, solidarity and human rights, and that all countries must respect those basic principles,” Eide continued.
Former President Donald Trump has also been nominated for a 2021 Nobel Peace Prize by another Norwegian politician, Christian Tybring-Gjedde. Trump is widely known to covet the Nobel Peace Prize, but his chances of receiving it are probably lower than ever given the recent insurrection in the U.S. Capitol that was led by his supporters.
Previous Peace Prize laureates include former President Barack Obama, Martin Luther King Jr., and former South African President Nelson Mandela. The winner of the 2021 Nobel Peace Prize will be chosen in October.