Eide told the newspaper that he nominated the movement because it is “bringing forward a new consciousness and awareness about racial justice.”
“To carry forward a movement of racial justice and to spread that to other countries is very, very important,” Eide told USA Today on Saturday. “Black Lives Matter is the strongest force today doing this, not only in the U.S. but also in Europe and in Asia.”
“For the Nobel Prize Committee, this is not unusual to link a fight for (racial) justice, to link that with peace. There will be no peace without justice.”
In previous years, Eide has nominated human rights activists from China and Russia for the award, The Guardian reported.
Eide said the nomination of Black Lives Matter “is not a comment on domestic American politics,” USA Today reported. Eide said that his email box was “full of very angry Americans” on Saturday, who said that the movement is not a peaceful organization.
Edie told the newspaper he was “prepared for that critique.”
“If we go 50 years back, those arguments also came up when Dr. Martin Luther King received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964 — exactly the same arguments,” Eide said. “And 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 counterargument to say Mandela was not working for justice or peace.”
The Black Lives Matter movement was co-founded in 2013 by Alicia Garza, Patrisse Cullors and Opal Tometi, according to the organization’s website. It was created in response to the acquittal of George Zimmerman, who fatally shot Trayvon Martin the previous year in Sanford, Florida. The organization picked up steam in 2014 after the deaths of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, and Eric Garner in New York City.
The movement spearheaded global protests during 2020 after the deaths of George Floyd in Minneapolis and Breonna Taylor in Louisville, Kentucky.
In his nomination papers, Eide said the BLM movement had forced countries outside the United States to come to grips with racism.
“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 wrote. “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.”
The deadline for submitting nominations is Monday, according to the Nobel website. The Nobel committee narrows the list of nominees by the end of March. The 2021 winner will be announced in October, and a ceremony will be held in the Norwegian capital of Oslo on Dec. 10.