The Black Lives Matter movement has been nominated for a 2021 Nobel Peace Prize for helping bring awareness to racial justice worldwide.
USA Today reports that Norwegian Parliament member Petter Eide nominated the organization because the protests against police brutality and systemic racism in the United States reached international recognition. "To carry forward a movement of racial justice and to spread that to other countries is very, very important," he said, highlighting how such BLM protests later sprung up in countless other countries. "Black Lives Matter is the strongest force today doing this, not only in the U.S. but also in Europe and in Asia."
Eide also stressed the importance of BLM carrying the torch of other Civil Rights Movements, including the anti-apartheid movement in South Africa. "For the Nobel Prize Committee, this is not unusual to link a fight for [racial] justice, to link that with peace," he added. "There will be no peace without justice." Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964, while Albert Luthuli and Nelson Mandela also later won the prize in 1960 and 1993, respectively.
In a statement on Twitter, Black Lives Matter shared the news of the nomination. "We hold the largest social movement in global history," the BLM Twitter account shared. "Today, we have been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. People are waking up to our global call: for racial justice and an end to economic injustice, environmental racism, and white supremacy. We're only getting started."
Eide went on to explain that the nomination doesn't have anything to do with "domestic American politics," although upon announcing the nomination he woke up on Saturday to lots of emails from "very angry Americans." Many of the emails, he said, were stating that Black Lives Matter isn't peaceful. Eide dismissed this criticism, as the Nobel Peace Prize committee had previously received such criticism upon Martin Luther King winning the prize in 1965.
"Exactly the same arguments," he said. "When twice the [African National Congress] leaders of South Africa received the Nobel Peace Prize, there were also incidents of violence. But you can’t use that as a counter-argument to say Mandela was not working for justice or peace."