In the United States, everyone has rights. But it seems that people of color aren’t included. Being that people of color helped shape America into what it is today, with all of the suffering and protests, you would think that it would have been effective enough to eliminate racism and inequality. In recent years, people of the black community have been suffering the most. When a recent African American, George Floyd, died from an officer’s knee to the neck, the movement began again. The black community needed change, tired of seeing the same thing happen to their people and nothing being done about it. People from all over the world came together to form a movement. Protests and voices started to be seen and heard, thousands of people could be seen walking together, chanting, fists in the air, signs in hands, standing up for something they all believed in.
This was the beginning of an era, one where the community would start to fight for equality in all. The Black Lives Matter movement started because of the inequality people of color were facing with the justice system. National Geographic special issue The Race Issue states “Many black parents rehearse with their children what to do if they are pulled over: Lower your car window so officers have a clear line of sight, turn on the interior lights, keep your hands visible, have your license and registration accessible, and for God’s sake, let the officer know you are reaching for them so he doesn’t shoot you.” (Michael) Why do black people have to go through this if white people don’t need to? Why is it that people of color are always suspicious? Why do people of color always get treated differently than white people? You see, this movement came together to bring light to the fact that people of color should get the same amount of respect as white people do.
Imagine having to worry about your own child’s life. The picture above perfectly illustrates the fear that the justice system has instilled into the black community. Living in a country that stands for freedom and safety, it sure ain’t owning up to it. NPR article A Black Mother Reflects On Giving Her 3 Sons ‘The Talk’ Again And Again states “I remember the kids asking to go to the park and the laundry list of what I had to tell them: “Don’t wear your hood. Don’t put your hands in your pocket. If you get stopped, don’t run. Put your hands up. Don’t make a lot of moves. Tell them your mother works for NPR.” (Kenya) Instead of young generations of black kids being worried about what time their tv show will air, they have to worry about not being suspicious when near police officers. Black people were taught to obey only out of fear of putting their life at risk.
The Black Lives Matter movement started on inequality and people were starting to notice. If it weren’t for George Floyd none of this would have happened. His heartbreaking death brought people together from all over the world to fight for something that has continued to be a huge problem since America was born. Wrex.com wrote “I’m trying to bring this change, I’m trying to speak to my people. I’m trying to speak to all people — trying to speak to America, trying to speak to the world on this,” Markey said. “That’s what we’re trying to do right now. That is what this is. We’re just trying to end this, for real. There has to be a resolve. There has to be reform, there has to be justice.”(Mike) The intention was always to have voices be heard in hope of there being change. There still continues to be a fight for equal justice but now more people know about the movement.
“Black people have been 28% of those killed by police in 2020 despite being only 13% of the population.” (mappingpoliceviolence.org) On the website, it lists that black people are 3x more likely to be killed by police than white people along with 1.3x more likely to be unarmed compared to white men. It’s truly shocking how many black lives have been taking away by police officers. Black lives have been taken away without a doubt. Guns were pulled on them simply for doing anything a white person would do. Just because you have a suspicion doesn’t give anyone in the law enforcement or the justice system the right to act without evidence. Many officers act without evidence or proof, causing them to take away people of colors life. I understand that they may think they’re armed or will do harm, but officers have shot black people leaning over to get their car insurance from the glove box even though they just informed the officer on site.
The Day stated “Sizer called on people to continue to protest and not go back to their normal lives: “We’ve seen some change but this is just the beginning,” he said, “and the only way it happens is if we continue to do things like this, continue to speak, continue to come together.” (Kimberly) I leave you all with this, the black lives matter movement will not go away for a very long time. If it takes protesting, chanting throughout the city, whatever it may be for our voices to be heard and see the change start to happen, so be it. Black people, Natives, Latinos, all people of color have been taught to deal with inequality. Skin color does not matter. Our heritage should not matter. We are all the same on the inside, the same color, same contents. The fight for justice and equality for all will continue until it comes true. As I like to say “All lives can’t matter until black lives matter”.