TLDR: I created this post to help people around the world to understand the Black lives matter movement specifically in the U.S. Black lives have been neglected, treated unfairly and unjustly by our society and this movement was created to fight it. Currently we are dealing with police brutality, their mistreatment to Black lives has been going on for far too long (cameras are exposing them now). It all comes down to racism, both individual and systematic. There is no excuse to live in ignorance, it only delays solutions and creates more problems. To support this movement education is important and taking action (i.e. spreading awareness, protesting, voting etc.). Black lives mattered before and they still do now.
For more details and resources, read the post below.
Black Lives Matter was a space created to address the injustices faced in Black communities, but also bring Black people together to work towards their freedom and justice. The death of Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown, may they rest in peace, gave us a wakeup call that we desperately needed. The Black Lives Matter movement is so important in fighting anti-Blackness.
What are we addressing RIGHT NOW: The end of Police Brutality.
On May 25, 2020 George Floyd was murdered in broad daylight by police. The police officer Derek Chauvin kneeled on his neck for almost 9 minutes and the other 3 police officers did not do anything. Who trained them? What if he was white? He couldn’t breathe, why didn’t the other police officers call out Derek Chauvin to save George Floyd? This is police brutality, this is not new, the world is now getting a glimpse of what many Black people have endured for years.
This murder of George Floyd enraged many of us and people in the U.S and around the world went to the streets to protest. Why? We demand for change, justice for his life, Breonna Taylor and the many Black lives that have been killed due to police brutality. Police brutality must end.
Say Their Names. These are REAL people, not just hatch tags. Let’s bring them justice.
Why are people asking to defund the police?
Police brutality has raised the demands of defunding the police. This would reduce the large budget given to law enforcement and redistribute it to other sectors such as:
- Youth Programs
- Crisis Centers
- Health care
- Job Programs
The programs listed above are often underfunded and not prioritized as much as law enforcement. By redistributing the funds it can allow many communities to improve by addressing their own social issues without it being in the hands of the police.
Does racism exist…today?
There has been a long history between the law enforcement and the killings and mistreatment of black people. Why? It comes down to racism. Many of us are aware of individual racism, when a person discriminates another person base on race/ethnic group with the idea that one race is superior than the other. There is also systemic racism, where institutions discriminate groups of people; as a result, the discriminated group has a disadvantage. This goes deep into economics, politics, education and more.
Why isn’t it All Lives Matter?
Yes, we all know all lives matter, but Black lives need to be included, they are also important. Right now the black lives needs our attention, they need our help in fighting the unfair treatment and injustices directed at them.
What can I do to help?
I cannot stress enough this enough, but EDUCATION IS KEY. Growing up I attended public school and the U.S. history was downplayed so much specifically slavery, segregation and the civil rights movements, making it seem as if we’ve moved on and were in a “better” state. Now, it could have been my teachers or even the textbooks, but it is a disservice to the young students like myself. It dismisses the fact that although slavery and segregation have ended, there are loop holes in our system that holds Black people and other minority groups back. Fortunately, as I got older I became fully aware that the fight of racism is no where near done. This is why I strongly recommend others to take time and educate yourself as much as you can, do your own research.
To be supportive you must know what you stand for, here are some recommendations I think are helpful in becoming better informed on Black communities:
As you learn more about the Black community it is also important to check if your lifestyle reflects your new found knowledge, here are some ideas:
- Diversifying your friend group
- Being open to meeting and creating bonds with different people of different background will help remove the bias we hear on social media, the news and even word of mouth.
- Be Aware! – Don’t stay quiet, speak up for what’s right
- Some may want to protest, donate, share information on social media and more, this is all important! The more we are able to identify the issue, inform others and make solutions to combat them, the more issues we can resolve.
- Talk to family and friends
- We can’t assume everyone will know what we know especially when it comes to social issues. If your friends and family make uneducated comments share your knowledge to spread the right information.
- Have empathy
- There are many people who have not experienced any racial issues, but just because you have not faced racial discrimination it does not disqualify the experience someone else has endured.
Listen Hunnay with Jeannie Mai
The Importance of Shared Empathy with Dr. Kafui Dzirasa
- If you want change in your community go vote! Aside from voting for the president, vote for your local representatives. Your local representatives can target issues in your state, but also your own community.
Register to vote: https://www.usa.gov/register-to-vote
Black Lives Matter.