#blacklivesmatter pt.2

Lately I’ve been a pretty big news follower. Pretty much all I do on my phone besides text is read articles, especially after the recent shootings. All of the protests are people saying enough is enough. Something has to change and this is how. There are a few things I’d like to discuss first though.

  1. Though this is a time of reflection, it is a time to be smart. Social change comes through policy reform. The best way to get policy reform is economically. People listen when you mess with their money. Be careful about who and where you’re shopping and giving your money to. Reform needs to happen and economics play a huge role. Some may say that boycotting is silly. I just view it as this could be a very big deal, or a very small deal. I’d rather participate and hope it sparks change, then give up before I even try.
  2. Though this is a time of mourning over lost lives, it is a time to celebrate. I love watching Women’s gymnastics for the Olympics. The team this year includes Gabby Douglass (who I just love) and Simone Biles. They are both extremely talented young women whose talents will open more doors for young African-American girls. Laurie Hernandez, a young Latina woman, will be joining them also. I’m happy that there is representation for young girls of color for this year’s Olympics. Representation matters.
  3. Though this is a time of togetherness, it is a time to act. Protests (non-violent) matter. There was a protest in my city today. Though I was unable to attend sadly, I’m proud of Ramoni, one of the leaders of the protest. Actions speak louder than words. Standing up for what you believe in matters. The picture below is from one of the protests in Baton Rouge. I like this picture because you can see how calm she is, like she’s so firm in her beliefs she’s calm. Plus it reiterates that this campaign is not meant to be harmful. It is just to fight for what is right.
  4. Though this is a time for contemplation, it is a time to vote. Voting for this election is more important than ever. One of the canidates is running a campaign based off of hatred and we have to join together to support what is right. No matter your view on Hillary Clinton, if she wins the nomination she’s our chance. I’ve seen many things on twitter about writing Bernie Sanders in. Though this may seem like a good idea, it is just going to split the Democratic vote, allowing other candidates to win. Remember that a campaign built on hate is built off of lies and stereotypes. Also stay away from twitter trolls.
  5. Though this is a time for revolution, it is a time for communication. Not everyone shares the same beliefs. But it is important to be clear with your beliefs. A common “come back” saying for #blacklivesmatter is #alllivesmater. No one said all lives didn’t matter. All lives do matter. That’s why it is important to emphasize that the lives of African-Americans matter because the system doesn’t recognize that they do. It is sad to say that this movement seems to be turning into something that is used to recognized lives lost. It is about the lives being important┬ábefore they are gone. It is important to realize that there are things we can do to try to break the cycle. That is why we protest. That is why we boycott. Because trying is eventually going to lead to change.

Change is going to come. Just wait on it.

blm

 

#blacklivesmatter

With all of the uproar about police brutality, I just wanted to comment on what is going on. Though I know minimal about the recent cases, I do know that police brutality towards African-Americans has always been a problem. And it will continue to be a problem until the system changes. In my opinion, the easiest way to change the system is to be a part of the system and remake it. The relationship between the police and the community is very strained which allows immersion into the system to be harder.  This is due to the injustices that happen. Another way to stop this is through education. This fall, I’m taking a writing seminar called Race, Rioting and Police Brutality in the US in the 1960s. I want to educate myself on my past. One of the requirements for graduation in LSA at University of Michigan is Race and Ethnicities (courses related to that topic). With this, people will gain more knowledge on people and the past/present. I’m glad this is a requirement just because I think it’s important to learn about and because Michigan is a PWI (Primarily White Institution). It’s going to force people to see the world differently, even if they want to act like racial issues aren’t real. We talked a lot about race relations in my sociology class and about how people don’t always want to believe these issues are real and where these issues come from. Everyone should take a sociology class because it’s eye opening. I think this will also spark change in the system. To me, it is crazy that the police get away with killing people, as if murder isn’t supposed to be illegal. I was discussing this with my mother earlier, and she pointed out that this is nothing new. She discusssed different issues, such as segregated water fountains. One day, I pray, that the laws will reflect that the lives of African-Americans matter. The whole #blacklivesmatter movement is simply a reflection of how black lives are undervalued and why they should be valued. Everyone deserves to be treated with respect and as a whole African-Americans are not treated with respect. Yesterday there was a protest at my university. I didn’t know, and I happened to just walk past (it was very peaceful). I wish I would’ve went just to see what it’s like to stand up for what you believe in. Literally to stand and support a cause.  I believe that our lives need to matter while we are alive and death should be a reflection of our accomplishments (which happens when you die naturally). Black lives matter doesn’t mean Black lives are the only lives that matter, it’s just saying that those who have been killed unjustly matter. You matter.