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Black Lives Matter: The Ongoing Fight 2020-06-28 오후 3:26:00

#BlackLivesMatter. #GeorgeFloyd. #BreonnaTaylor. #ICantBreathe. #DefundThePolice.
These hashtags have been shaking the world. Black Lives Matter has regained momentum like a phoenix born from the ashes. The United States is being changed for the better; confederate statues are being taken down, “Gone With the Wind” is no longer provided on movie channels, and the Aunt Jemima syrup brand has decided to remove the racist logo from its products.

People, not just black Americans, but people all over the world are protesting against the brutal US police force, the abhorrent loss of innocents such as George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and so many more. Real, tangible change is being made through the voluntary actions of people who know that systemic racism should be eradicated.

Still, there is much to be done. I asked a Korean student a few weeks ago if he knew George Floyd; he didn’t. After he saw a video of the BLM protests and how the white policemen were taking up arms against their own countrymen, he was shocked beyond measure. This is another hurdle the world must overcome. Although many people are becoming aware or are already aware of the severity of the situation and are willing to act to put an end to systemic racism and police brutality, there are masses of people, especially young people, who are unaware of even the existence of racism. Also, due to the spreading of misinformation and fake news across social media is only exacerbating the issue. Like the atrocious hashtag #GeorgeFloydChallenge spread by people filming reenactment videos of Mr. Floyd’s death or the misappropriated “racist baby” tweet taking the internet by storm, there are many poisonous posts, videos and media out there that encourage people to hold racist views.

Here are some things we can all do to bring the world a step closer to racial equality.
Educate yourself. By this I mean read up on books about systemic racism, and watch the news. The Daily Show by Trevor Noah is an easy starting point on your journey to understanding racism. “White Fragility” by Robin DiAngelo is a must-read, even if you are not white. This book offers great insight into the reason why systemic racism has been in America for so long, with shocking statistics and anecdotes of the author’s own experience dealing with white people who refuse to recognize that their actions are racist. There are many other books, like “The Color Purple” by Alice Walker, “Their Eyes were Watching God” by Zora Neale Hurston, and many more. Just search ‘Books by black authors’ on Google. You can also educate yourself through Instagram - start with the official BLM account, then move on to other anti-racist accounts. Watch Vox’s video “Why all Americans should honor Juneteenth”. It will be hard, but this is a necessary step to making a change.
Do not confuse “All Lives Matter” with “Black Lives Matter”. Those two slogans are very different. “All Lives Matter” are slogans used by white people who do not have an understanding of their own white privilege. Just because the world chants “Black Lives Matter” doesn’t mean that the world is condemning all other lives. It is imperative that we recognize black people are at a great disadvantage compared to their white counterparts in every aspect, whether it be social, economical, or personal. For one thing, black people have to worry for their lives when they get pulled over by the police. White people don’t get pulled over at all. The statistics reflect this.
Don’t be afraid to speak up. Share what you have learned with your friends, your family, and all others around you through Instagram or other social media. Don’t be afraid to hold family conversations about the deaths of black people, racism, police brutality, and protests in the US. And don’t be afraid to condemn conspiracy theories that dare to say that racism is a hoax.


Black Lives Matter is relevant to you. Whether you are Asian, Hispanic, or European, you are a part of this because regardless of our race, we are all people. I for one will not pretend to know everything about the lives of black people because I don’t. I can’t possibly fathom the full depth of their sorrow they are feeling for their fallen brothers and sisters or the rage that they are feeling at the 400 years of injustice that has been done to their ancestors up to their children. However, I know that black or not, they are all people. And people deserve to be respected; all people deserve to live. On that note, I say black lives matter. And you should too.

Writer
Deerfield Academy
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