BY: Kacee Marie
We are tired. Black Americas have grown sick and tired of having everyday for over 400 years to show that we belong here. We are tired of having to fight for our humanity, and overall our very survival- again and again and again.
BLACK LIVES MATTER is a hashtag that grew into a movement, one that resurfaces across the nation after high profile deaths of Black people at the hands of the police. The most recent trigger for angry protest nationwide was the May 25th death of George Floyd, who was murdered in broad daylight. Floyd's pleas for help, crying out for his mother, and repeatedly saying he couldn't breathe, were all ignored. Black Lives Matter has always been more of a human rights movement rather than a civil rights movement. BLM's focus has been less about changing specific laws and more about fighting for a fundamental reordering of society wherein Black lives are free from systematic dehumanization.
Being Black in America should not be a death sentence, however, everyday we fear for our lives as the very ones who are suppose to "protect and serve" us, are the ones we need protecting from. The failure of the state to protect black people and the preying on black people by the police — has confirmed what most of us already know: If we and those who stand with us do not mobilize in our own defense, then no official in power ever will. Young black people must endure the bruises and wounds caused by rubber bullets or the burn of tear gas because the government has abandoned us. Black Lives Matter only because we will make it so.
The disposability of Black lives is not a flaw in the system; it is the system. We are meant to die or, at the very least, we are not meant to be protected, to be respected, to be valued, to be considered fully human. That is how racism works, and it has operated efficiently throughout American history. The fact that George Floyd was even arrested, let alone killed for an alleged crime of forgery amid a pandemic that has claimed the lives of 1 out of every 2,000 Black people is sad, but a real life reality that we still do not matter in the United States. It is no accident that we disproportionately work in the lowest paying jobs, and live in communities where the water is unsafe to drink and the air unfit to breathe, where schools are starved of resources, where there are only unhealthy food options around us- we, the Black community are treated like we are the bottom of the totem pool.
When white protesters, armed and ready for violence demand for the country to open back up, and make threats against officials, Trump praised them as "very good people" and understood their position. But let us protest and loot on the land WE BUILT, he rather suggest that we get shot, imprisoned for 10 years and label us as thugs. Help me understand- we watch our people get murdered on tape, Covid-19 is killing us at a disproportionate rate, and some of us only received a one time stimulus payment of $1200 (which btw was suppose to cover rent, groceries and everything else in between) two months ago, and we aren't supposed to be angry? We aren't supposed to be tired? These emotions runs deep, especially over the last several weeks with the taped murder of Ahmaud Arbery, the ruthless shooting of Breonna Taylor, the killing of Black Trans man Tony Mcdade; literally all modern day lynching. Not to mention the white people who call the police on Black people just because they feel like they can, not only do they just call, but they flat out lie because their privilege allows them too. Making cases like the white woman in Central Park who called the cops on a Black man when he asked her to put her dog on a leash; a modern day Emmett Till situation.
What are the alternatives to protest, when the nation cannot even perform its basic task and when crocked, racist police officers barely even get a slap on the wrist for crimes that would have resulted in years of imprisonment or even the death penalty if it were a Black citizen? If justice cant be attained by engaging the system, then we must seek other means of changing it. It’s time for our white allies to come together and shield us, help us fight the injustice in the world, the active support of white people is crucial, Your silence must not be noticed. Your idealism for liberation,, justice and equality must be as loud as it would if the shoe were on the other foot, because if you are silent during these trying times, you are choosing the side of the oppressor.
Our message is simple: Racism is killing Black people in America. And we are done dying.