The Tide Is Turning: Time Magazine Puts ‘Black Lives Matter’ On Its Cover

The following is a PoliticusUSA editorial by co-publisher and managing editor Sarah Jones.

All of the protesting of the senseless deaths and the brutality at the hands of police has made a difference.

An unarmed fifty-year-old Walter Lamer Scott was shot down and murdered after a routine traffic stop over his tail lights, in what looked like an execution by a police officer. It’s become an all too common story of an unarmed black man being killed or brutalized by the police.

But this time, things were different. Here’s what happens when things start to change. Time magazine, one of the most mainstream publications there is, puts “Black Lives Matter” on its cover.

The cover of Time magazine this Thursday morning:


This cover goes to Time’s new cover story, “In the Line of Fire”.

As Black Liberal Boomer made clear in his opinion piece published in these pages Wednesday evening, it’s not just that Walter Scott’s murder was caught on tape, though I’d say the fellow who shot that tape is a hero for doing it and turning it in. It’s that the North Charleston Mayor Keith Summey did the right thing. Mayor Summey fired South Carolina Police Officer Michael T. Slager, the officer who shot and killed Walter Scott and lied about the events leading up to his shooting of Scott.

The question is, why did the Mayor do this? Mayor Summey did the right thing, but even recently, with evidence, officials have not done the right thing. What is happening is that the largely peaceful protesting of black men’s deaths and brutality at the hands of the police, from Michael Brown’s murder in Ferguson, Missouri to Eric Garner gasping “I can’t breathe” as police officers in Staten Island strangled him, has made a difference.

The protests of police treatment of black men has been determined and diligent, relentless and consistent. They made a difference. They trickled into the consciousness of most Americans, and while every other killing or brutalizing was politicized and largely ignored by officials, Walter Scott’s murder was not.

This tragedy gave rise to a convergence of public awareness thanks to protesters, a Mayor who felt compelled to do the right thing, and documented evidence that can’t be denied.

Since the public had been made aware of the issue with the “Black lives matter” hashtag trending on social media consistently, when the facts about Walter Scott being shot 8 times in the back as he fled were made known via a tape of the murder, public opinion quickly shifted. Suddenly, it was undeniable. There is a problem.

America has a problem with racism. It has infested the police and the courts. It has created a situation where black men are shot down and killed almost routinely. It has created a situation where black men are afraid of the police for the wrong reasons.

But all of the pain, all of the vigilant efforts to keep protests peaceful, all of the loss, all of the tragedy has changed something. The public knows, now. It can’t be denied.

Justice is still out of reach and it’s not right or fair. But minorities know they can’t waste time on fairness. What they can do is force their experiences to be taken seriously. And that is what has happened here, finally.

It would have been better if these well publicized tragedies and the countless unpublicized tragedies had never taken place. But we can’t change that. What we can do is speak up. Make some noise. Grit our teeth against injustice and refuse to be quiet about it. And that is what protesters across the country have done. The families of victims have called for peaceful protests, in what must be their darkest moments. That is real courage. And that courage has led to change.

Even when it seems like everyone is ignoring you, collectively you have a voice. The Time cover proves this. This is how you know you’ve made a difference. This is how you know all of the efforts to speak peacefully, to object loudly but without violence, to quell the desire for revenge and immediate justice, mattered. The protests have been an act of ongoing courage and bravery, because to protest you must hope. To hope in the face of relentless injustice is an act of heroism.

The Black Lives Matter protesters will go down in history for making a difference in how black men are treated by our police and justice system. The fight is far from over, but the tide is finally turning.

26 Replies to “The Tide Is Turning: Time Magazine Puts ‘Black Lives Matter’ On Its Cover”

  1. It is too bad that the police departments everywhere, have been used by the GOP handlers to abuse the Blacks and Hispanics.

    The police & fire depts. have the strongest unions, (although they do not support any other union) and they feel entitled to do as they pleased. It is a blessing that the new technology allows for citizen reporters to document the events, and that they have the bravery to do it, risking their own safety.

    These recordings are the proof that the police and sheriff (and sometime the fire responders) dept. members are the abusers.

  2. I have a feeling that in the end nothing will change. I hope I am wrong but look for a change of venue and a jury seated by fox robots to find this executioner not quilty.

    Two words: Robert Torsney

    Just in case.. they need help in knowing who this man is…Here is some information

    Robert Torsney had been a by-the-book cop for eight years as of Thanksgiving 1976, when he and fellow officers responded to a call in the Cypress Hills housing project. Finding the situation resolved when they arrived, Torsney left the apartment building and walked up to ninth-grader Randolph Evans. The two had a brief conversation before Torsney shot the youth point-blank in the head.

    Seen this show before and trust we will see it again

  3. I wish I shared your reasoning but I do not.
    The only reason this is even on the cover is because the incident was caught on film AND it showed that the cop planted the taser near the body. If the cop had not done that I seriously doubt he’d be up on murder charges and the Time cover would not be what it is.

  4. When was the last time you saw a policeman shoot a Caucasian in the back while fleeing from a traffic stop (after tazing the stopped driver) ?
    Shooting a fleeing person in the back is COWARDLY and Murderous. Especially if the shooting is done by a policeman. Not even the Mafia whacked their targets in the back. With that said that cop’s mindset was set on killing a black man, no matter what. (My opinion) If it weren’t so, that man would have been alive today, and that policeman would have been out of jail and able to see his soon to be born baby. This incident puts the icing on the cake on this issue of police quick to draw and shoot a black person. That video is proof. But then again, we can’t paint all policemen with the same brush, because it shouldn’t be done. But the bad apples in the police force makes it a tough image to erase from the minds of ALL people. If we are going to start mentally testing pilots, we should do it for Cops–they carry guns!

  5. To everyone who is skeptical that this will make a difference or if it hadn’t been for the video it would be just another lying cop’s word against some unfortunate person….

    Let us please remember this.

    Martin Luther King, Jr.

    Rosa Parks.

    President Barack Obama?

    We The People.

  6. Lots of things have been on the front of Time; doesn’t always mean that it’s a bellweather change.

    Racist Inertia will need to be overcome in the Blue Wall.

  7. It took police officers turning water hoses and police dogs on black kids in the 1960s to get the public’s attention during the civil rights protests. It takes something shocking to convince most Americans that a real problem exists, and that oppressed persons are not crying wolf. When numerous black males have died at the hands of the police, many Americans created excuses for them, feeling their first “duty” was to smear the victims. When Slager murdered Walter Scott, before the citizen video was released, Slager and Charleston PD officials wasted no time constructing their story that the shooting was justified. Now it appears that Americans have been shocked out of their apathy and innate tendency to believe that every black male killed by police officers “deserved” it. Whether they will admit it or not, their apathy has been a major contributor to the continuation of these officers killing our citizens, claiming they feared for their lives, and walking scot-free.

  8. I am not saying that what happened is right by any means. I believe that it is completely wrong. What I am saying right now is that the incidents where Caucasian people being shot by police are not reported. It isn’t good for rating, so the media doesn’t report it. I have seen a few studies and the last ratio that I saw was that black : white ratio of shootings was 12:1 as of 2012. It is absolutely horrible that that is how things are, and I think that the police should be put through more rigorous tests before they are hired. However on the opposite side, less people want to be police officers because of the scrutiny received. Once again, I am not defending either side of what happened. I am just stating points of view. This is a screwed up world that we live in and in my opinion we cannot rid this world of Racism until we stop looking at incidents and the first thing we see is the colors of the skin of the people involved. It should be that a cop shot an unarmed man, and is charged…

  9. The tide will have turned when we see white police officers going after armed white militias, paramilitary groups and domestic terrorists the same way they go after unarmed black and brown people!

    The tide will have turned when we have zero violence from the police towards citizens over minor law infractions! It boggles my mind that white militants can shot at few agents, and nothing happens, but I black person ends up six feet under for selling cigs, a minor traffic violation….
    That is when the tide turns, not when a magazine says so that is predominantly white

  10. White House Fox Reporter tries to find wiggle room for Walter Scott shooter

    White House press secretary Josh Earnest had to work hard to keep his face from looking astonished today when intrepid Fox News White House reporter James Rosen threw him what can only be called a “Screw Walter Scott” ball. In classic Fox news gotcha fashion, Rosen tried to insinuate that Earnest, in earlier comments concerning the Michael Slager shooting (with video) of Walter Scott, somehow did not say that Slager was “innocent until proven guilty.”
    Read More

  11. Can’t we also look at the 800 pound Elephant in the room? I mean racism has been this bad since 1964, it just hid it’s ugly head somewhat, I know, I live with it even now because of my skin tone and hair length. One of the major problems we face is the NRA and the politicians they own putting more and more guns everywhere. I am not taking up for the racist cops, but every traffic stop has to be scrutinized now as maybe there is a gun in the car. That is just brought out more because of the black stereotypes that have been prevalent since the days of them smoking weed and raping and killing white women,and anyone be they black, hispanic, italian, indian is subject to more prejudice because they aren’t white, blacks just feel the full brunt of the racism that just won’t go away.

  12. Bill O’Reilly Spins the North Charleston Shooting Like a Greased Top Perhaps you were sitting home yesterday or today, wondering, “How in the world will Fox ‘news’ be able to discuss the shooting of Walter Scott by Officer Michael Slager? How could it possibly spin an obvious murder by a cop? Surely, even Fox will have to admit we have a problem here.” Oh, dear wonderer, you don’t know Fox. – See more at:

  13. There are good cops and bad cops. Screaming that black lives matter when a criminal like Brown attacks a cop does not help anyone.

    It just contributes to the siege mentality that makes events like this more common.

    The fact is that a black man is 25 times more likely to be killed by another black man than by a white cop. Why don’t those lives matter?

  14. just remember to be fair, not all police officers, not all fire fighters. But those officers and firefighters need to make their voices heard as well, and raise awareness within their departments

  15. I suppose you are saying Black lives don’t matter? because black people kill eachother, why worry about black officers killing eachother? So let’s not do what we can to change the system, let’s just give up! That’s your solution?

    Also, where are you getting your numbers? And if they are true, what is your answer for why people kill eachother? I’d be curious to hear your theory. I believe respect, distribution, and opportunity heals the chaos caused by poverty and racism. What do you believe?

  16. “It has created a situation where black men are afraid of the police for the wrong reasons.”

    Soooooo……what is the right reason for being afraid of the police?

  17. The ones in authority! However, Ferguson and Chareston have shown us the solution to that problem! In Ferguson, they have elected a more diverse city council! In Carolina( a pleasant surprise) they fired a devisive cop!

  18. Other than white racists, show me where any liberal has said that blacks killed by blacks don’t matter.

    And WRT your “claim” that 25 times as many blacks are killed by other blacks than by cops, you can NOT possibly know that because NOBODY knows how many citizens – of any color – are killed by cops each year.

    My source? None other than Nate Silver of 538 fame:

    So I won’t get into any statistical analysis of what hogwash your claim would be even if it WERE true. All one would have to do is compare how many blacks there are versus how few cops there are. So of course the larger group would have more instances.

    Where do you pull such BS mendacity? Fox? Daily Caller? Hot Air? Freeperville? WND? What a load of manure!

  19. So… the NYPD Just Broke an NBA Player’s Leg

    Let’s not “bury the lead” here. At a moment when people across the country are reckoning with the deadly reality of police violence and the terror it imposes on black communities, the New York Police Department fractured the leg of a player in the National Basketball Association. The NYPD had an interaction with Thabo Sefolosha of the Atlanta Hawks, and they broke his damn leg.
    Read More

  20. Little brother is watching back.
    Embrace a society with no privacy. Don’t be afraid of technology, instead: Use technology to your advantage.
    When you are pulled over by the police
    when you see the police.

    VIDEO RECORD EVERYTHING. It is protected by the law.

    American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU): You Have Every Right to Photograph That Cop.

    Little brother is watching back.

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