Protests bring necessary awareness to the black community

George Floyd’s death on May 25, 2020, will never be forgotten. His life will be cherished, and his death will serve as a reminder of the white privilege and racism that plagues our country. Murdered by a Minnesota police officer, Floyd’s death sparked outrage all across the world. People are protesting in the commons of towns, the streets of cities, and on their platforms on social media. 

People all across the United States are protesting for equality. (Kelly Lacy (Pexels))

Used throughout history to bring oppression to light, today, protesting takes on a whole new meaning as the entire planet rallies for the safety of Black people. 

The international movement of Black Lives Matter brings awareness to the systematic racism that Black people face on a daily basis, prevalent across institutions regarding the wage gap, drug arrests, employment, and more.

Even though there are many in the media highlighting the racial injustices faced by many African-Americans, there are a few who believe that the protests are excessive. They wonder why people petition for Black Lives Matter, when all lives matter. 

Recently, on Tiktok, I stumbled upon a video defending the importance of the Black Lives Matter movement. The video portrayed a house burning down in a neighborhood. Neighbors, friends, and strangers rushed to help the burning house. However, one person stopped on the side. She wanted people to help her house. Her home was fine. She thought it was unfair to focus on the burning house when all houses are equal. Soon, a man came up to the woman and explained the state of the burning house. He justified the actions being taken to the burning house, saying that even though all the houses matter, not all of them require the same immediate attention as the burning house.

Today, the burning house is the Black community. Even though all humans are equal and deserve the same rights, not all of us are being treated with the respect we deserve. Instead of advocating for all lives matter, we take part in the Black Lives Matter movement, to promote social justice for African-Americans during their time of need.

For decades, police officers have been abusing their power. With many cases swept under the rug, America does a less than stellar job of holding police officers accountable for their mistakes and murders. According to Mapping Police Violence, only twenty-seven of the days in 2019 saw no deaths at the hands of the police, enough evidence to indicate the corruption in our police force.

People are protesting against the bias in law enforcement. Society wants to see change in the way police officers handle situations. Violence should never be an approach unless truly necessary. Yet, current law enforcement, as well as our own president, Donald Trump, sees violence as a viable solution.

Addressing the recent events, “When the looting starts, the shooting starts,” President Trump tweeted.

Through this tweet, President Trump justifies lethal and aggressive action against his own citizens.

Additionally, peaceful protests are turning into a showdown between police officers and citizens, clearly demonstrating the divide between law enforcement and the people they are supposed to protect impartially. At a recent protest in our capital, police officers went as far as to tear gas civilians to clear the path for President Trump to do a photo op in front of a local church. The leader of our country, instead of showing empathy and providing healing words, created a situation of abhorrence between authority and  citizens who were hurting and protesting for a cause.

The federal government did not take important, preliminary actions to support the peaceful rallies for equality or directly address the numerous cruelties committed by police officers to members of the African-American community.

We need to see change to the law enforcement system as well as police protocol. The mentality of ruthlessness needs to be erased from policing. To take ownership of these flaws in our government, we must send the message to lawmakers that citizens will not rest till we can all go to bed knowing that we, and the African-American community, are safe from police brutality.

I fully support the protests. In our country, where a federal government has not taken proper control of a nationwide outcry, people feel unheard. The only way to rally for a cause is by diving head first into the storm. With police departments under fire for their brutalities against minorities, citizens are fighting against our justice systems and our security systems. 

Recently, in Westford, community members peacefully made their way to the commons to rally for change. Despite living in a suburban town, residents were able to do their part to make change. By finding a protest near you, whether it is on the town or city level, sharing beneficial information on your social media platforms, or even helping people around you understand the basis of racism, we can all be a driving factor in the protests to abolish racial inequality.

Despite our race, we all stand in solidarity. (Jumana Dakkur (Pexels))

When people of extremely different backgrounds, especially the Amish who have limited access to current affairs, are all able to acknowledge and protest the cruelties against Black people, we know we have a serious problem on our hands. 

African-Americans do not feel safe, nor are they safe, living with our law enforcement. Mothers have to teach their young sons how to deal with altercations with cops. Even though change does not happen overnight, we are sharing resources, funds, support groups, and calls for action on social media. Celebrities are notifying their followers about the crimes against Black people. Pressuring and enlightening our authorities with a united front, holding our hands in solidarity, and using our privilege for good will soon bring equality to all. Fighting for recognition of the inhumanities made against Floyd and others of the Black community should be part of everyone’s moral code.

The influence of powerful authorities will trickle down from cities to towns to homes, shifting people’s perspectives and solidifying a universal sense of morality.

This year has been full of many downs. Currently, we face COVID-19 and racism, two of the world’s most forceful pandemics. Even in unsettling times, people are rallying for change, showing that even in times of a dangerous global virus, love, acceptance, and passion always win.

Now more than ever we need to band together. We must stand our ground and peacefully demand the safety of Black people. These protests are a catalyst for change. Soon, not only America, but the world, will see equality in a new light. We need to take initiative and solve our current problems in order to guarantee a brighter future. We are making history. With equality on the horizon, we can all make contributions, big or small, to help bring justice for all.

Places to help and learn:

https://blacklivesmatters.carrd.co/

https://www.gofundme.com/f/georgefloyd

https://8cantwait.org/

https://www.tolerance.org/magazine/fall-2018/what-is-white-privilege-really

https://www.instagram.com/blklivesmatter/