I know race is a taboo topic in America, but because it is something that I have to deal with every day I feel the need to talk about it. It seems like forever ago the Black Lives Matter became this big movement that spoke up about the injustices in the U.S., but it was only just last year that we got the no indictment of the bigoted police officer that killed Michael Brown. Just one year and we have Freddie Gray, Walter Scott, Samuel DuBose, Sandra Bland, and so many others that have been taken from us way too early just based on the color of their skin.
When people hear “Black Lives Matter” they assume that means everyone else’s lives do not matter, but that is actually the furthest from the truth. Why would a group of people who have been systemically oppressed for hundreds of years want to oppress others? When we say “Black Lives Matter” we are saying right now in our society black people’s lives are not valued. That murders and crimes that are committed against us make us the victims into someone who did not deserve to live. When society says they don’t care if you live or die, that community that is being oppressed comes together and bonds over a common experience and tries to change that injustice. So it’s not that all lives don’t matter, but the pressing issue that we are losing too many black lives and it seems to not be an issue in our society, so we need to take a stand and express that our lives do matter.
Simply the need for a “Black Lives Matter” movement is that there is a lot of racism in our world. This issue is seen through institutional racism like police brutality, but it is also in everyday life. I am writing this after I heard about the terrorist threats on black lives at the University of Missouri. After reading the headlines and the tweets from black students that were on campus, I began to cry. Just the thought that people would kill me just because of my skin has more melanin than theirs terrifies me. I just do not get it. I love my skin tone and my black features, so why would someone be so angry at something that does not even affect them. How could someone hate me so much without even knowing me or my character? How could someone demonize a young child based on the color of their skin? How could they see a black person and believe that they do not have the right to live and are less than human?
We have come a long way from slavery, that happened just a little over 150 years ago, but we are still facing the same issues that we were fighting in the Civil Rights Movement. In that movement we had an organization that showed the world the injustices and the rights that were being taken away from black citizens. So the cycle continues, but I hope this generation can finally gain some equality, not just in legislation, but also in the actual institution where the physical change can be made. But until you can tell me that one of my black family members or I will not get targeted based on the color of our skins, than we need a movement like “Black Lives Matter” to make conversations about race less taboo and create positive change in our society.
Just one example of why the “Black Lives Matter” exists from the YouTube channel MacDoesIt.