"All lives matter". However, this is where a lot of people are wrong. The Black community is facing so much discrimination, prejudice, and devastation just as they, unfortunately, have been for centuries. So, until Black lives matter as equally as everyone else's lives, all lives can't matter. This doesn't go to say that you aren't important or valued but as I've seen all over the Internet, you aren't the one experiencing derogatory and disrespectful comments daily. You aren't the one facing unequal pay, opportunities, or attention at the doctor. You aren't the one who may be paralyzingly scared to leave the house. You aren't the one being lynched, hung, hunted, burned, etc. You aren't the one who is dying. Sure I realize that there are many people of color and minorities in this world, but a good amount of them are able to live a bit more and a bit better than the Black community. We all need to stand together here and use our rights and privileges to fight for equality for Blacks as well as people of color and an end to the discrimination that has been going on for far too long and is plain unnecessary.
But this is such a big issue. How can I help? There are so many ways that you are able to help with this situation, but you can start with educating yourself and others. Check the news, learn about the current devastating events, read up on what really happened in terms of racism (what your history books didn't mention or what your teacher skimmed over), stop supporting companies that lack diversity or respect and haven't acknowledged the situation, find more Black artists, business owners, musicians, etc to support. George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and Elijah McClain are just a few of the names that have been taken down and killed by authorities despite being innocent. I can't tell you how many times I've witnessed the assumption that "black people are always up to no good" but this is not the case at all! I've met many in my lifetime and they've been the nicest people I've ever met and had the pleasure of talking to. Despite everything they face, they're always in good spirits and fighters.
It just breaks my heart that this has been rooted in our history. There was one point where people of color got close to the equality they were fighting for once they were finally allowed into the same schools, businesses, buses, positions, etc that Whites had. For once people of color finally had what they were fighting for, but what changed? What diverted the world back to this position? It's time to bring the world around a lot. We need to give these people the respect and equality they deserve. We need all hands on deck for this, and we need to act now. Don't allow them to be silenced and don't allow yourself to be silenced until change and justice are seen. Have these difficult conversations that you wouldn't normally have, call people out on their racist comments and actions even if it scares you. Make a positive change in the world!
If you don't want to or can't attend any protests, there are still so many ways you can help. Time.com has listed some great ways to help on their website such as supporting companies advocating for racial justice like Black Lives Matter and East of the River Mutual Aid Fund, donating to causes like the Minnesota Freedom Fund and the Black Trans Protesters Emergency Fund, donating to GoFundMes of families whose sons or daughters have been killed or severely injured due to the prejudice, supporting black creators and business owners, etc. If you want to get a message across from home, you can even make your own yard signs with ways to help. Have these important conversations with your family and friends, recognize when someone's being disrespectful, reach out to government officials and every resource possible, have conversations and experiences that scare you. Never take no for an answer and never be silenced.
Below is the Time.com article mentioned as well as other resources:
- Odyssey Community at Black Lives Matter ›
- Why The Black Lives Matter Movement Matters ›
- Why We Should All Support Black Lives Matter ›
- Black Lives Matter Vs All Lives Matter ›