Martin Luther King Jr. once said, ‘A riot is the language of the unheard. And what is America failing to hear?’
When you hear someone say ‘black lives matter,’ what is the first thing you think about? Some might argue that all lives matter, not only those of black people. Others might argue that it is something they have been fighting for and will continue to do so until there is change. There have been countless protests around the world to show the issues that people of color are faced with. Going back to over 400 years ago, black people have faced racial injustices, whether it’d be racial profiling or racial discrimination and systematic oppression. The black lives matter movement is bringing awareness to the racial injustices among the black community, police brutality and misuse of their power that targets mainly POC, and acknowledge how the system has failed us.
The racial injustices among the black community have been represented throughout history. A great example would be the barriers they faced in education. Before 1940, states have legally required and some have even allowed segregation within their schools. Once this act was in place, ‘segregation relegated black children to schools lacking textbooks, libraries, auditoriums, cafeterias, and other amenities provided for white children,’ not to mention that there were not many schools for black students. Another example is the case of ‘Hilliard Brooks Jr. who was murdered on a Montgomery bus after he was accused of “creating a disturbance.” This can be seen as a case of racial injustice as it was ‘a white officer who fatally shot the unarmed black man’ and ‘the officer faced no charges.’ Some eyewitnesses claimed that the shooting was unnecessary as he was complying with what was being told to him. This sparked protests and activism for over a decade for social change to occur. Presently, there are common things that black people have been faced with such as discrimination from jobs and devalued due to the color of their skin.
Police brutality and misuse of their power, targeting mainly POC, have caused 24% of black people to be killed even when being only 13% of that population, as studies have shown.
There has always been a racial disadvantage among the black community and has not since been fixed or adjusted.
We take a stand with them. George Floyd, Natasha McKenna, Christina Taylor, Walter Scott, Philando Castile, Freddie Gray, Samuel DuBose, Michael Brown, and so many more have been victims of this corrupt system. So many defenseless people are killed because of the color of their skin. This has been an ongoing thing for so many years. Police abuse their power when it comes to POC. There were 27 days in 2019 where police had not killed anyone. Most of those killings done in a day are more than three people. Recently videos of cops have surfaced showing this injustice, specifically towards POC. A camera pointing them does not phase them because they know, at the end of the day, their privilege will overtake anything being recorded. These killings have gotten people mad. More protests are outbreaking all over the world. They will continue to fight for their rights and be heard. All lives matter, that is a fact, but if you are at an ER and someone comes in with a heart attack, they are going to be seen first because they need help the most. Black lives matter in no way is implying that only black lives matter, instead it is saying that black lives matter too and that they need our help to be heard.
The black lives movement comes to show that racial injustices among the black community still exist, police brutality and misuse of their power are an ongoing issue for the POC, and how the system failed us since the beginning. We have to come together and fight for what is right. This is not only about the lives that were lost, in a wrongful manner, within the last couple of years, but this is also about the number of lives we can prevent from being taken away. No one wants to live in fear, not knowing when they will take their last breath. I would rather fight for what is right and try to make a change for our future than to sit back and accept everything for how it is. Change might not come by as soon as we want it, but if we keep fighting together, it is bound to happen. Until then, we are left to protest. We are left to voice all these injustices and be heard so change can happen.