Black Lives Need To Be Valued
Start writing a post

Black Lives Need To Be Valued

A look at racial violence and police brutality in the 21st century

Black Lives Need To Be Valued

In the past few weeks, cases of police brutality and white supremacy have surged through the news. With names like Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and George Floyd making national headlines, I have watched the cruelty that Black Americans endure at the hands of our supposed "criminal justice system." The sad thing is that this system was never wholly just, nor was it created to help minority groups.

Since the formation of the modern police force, people of color, especially Black people, have faced intense discrimination from law enforcement. They were beaten in the streets, wrongfully arrested, shot, and executed far more than other racial groups. People tend to believe that these are remnants of a bygone era, but the truth is that ignoring reality is not only willfully ignorant, but it contributes to a problem that still exists in 2020.

After hearing about these tragedies on social media, I stumbled across Mapping Police Violence ( ), a nonprofit organization that serves as a sort of national database for these crimes. I scrolled through the page curiously but had to close my computer after a minute or two. I've done research on racism and violence before, but there was one particular statistic that sent chills down my spine: "99% of killings by the police from 2013-2019 have not resulted in officers being charged with a crime." Let that sink in.

When I have conversations about this with people, I'm often met with the response that "not all cops are like that and the ones that are get convicted." Not every police officers is a murderer, of course, but those who are only get convicted for their actions 1% of the time. ONE PERCENT. Meanwhile, 1 in 1,000 Black men will be killed by the police in their lifetime. I can't fully articulate how that makes me feel, so I can't imagine what it must feel like for Black men and women in this country. This is why responding that "All Lives Matter" when people talk about injustice is harmful and problematic.

It's not that the lives of other races do not matter, but Black Americans are not being treated in a way that reflects their inherent worth and value as human beings. Imagine if you told someone with cancer that other diseases mattered? No person with even the slightest bit of compassion or social grace would think of doing this; So why can't people understand that when you use "All Lives Matter" to criticize the Black Lives Matter movement, you're doing the same thing. Black Americans are killed by the police at a higher rate than any other race, and this disparity has disastrous effects for the Black community. The fact of the matter is that Black lives SHOULD matter, but they're not being treated as such.

We've seen the power of petitions and protest in the cases of Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor, but their cases are just two of many. As white people, we have the privilege to never feel the effects of racial bias and discrimination, so we have the responsibility to be allies for progress. We need to dismantle the structures our ancestors built because when people ignore their contributions (direct or indirect) to systemic racism, we are failing humanity.

So, embrace the discomfort because your passive neglect could cost lives. Be actively against racism. Talk about it with your friends and family. Say their names. Sign petitions. Read about ways you can help. Research corruption in your own community. Call your representatives. Make a change.

After all, liberty and justice is what America is supposed to be about.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Student Life

Waitlisted for a College Class? Here's What to Do!

Dealing with the inevitable realities of college life.

college students waiting in a long line in the hallway

Course registration at college can be a big hassle and is almost never talked about. Classes you want to take fill up before you get a chance to register. You might change your mind about a class you want to take and must struggle to find another class to fit in the same time period. You also have to make sure no classes clash by time. Like I said, it's a big hassle.

This semester, I was waitlisted for two classes. Most people in this situation, especially first years, freak out because they don't know what to do. Here is what you should do when this happens.

Keep Reading...Show less
a man and a woman sitting on the beach in front of the sunset

Whether you met your new love interest online, through mutual friends, or another way entirely, you'll definitely want to know what you're getting into. I mean, really, what's the point in entering a relationship with someone if you don't know whether or not you're compatible on a very basic level?

Consider these 21 questions to ask in the talking stage when getting to know that new guy or girl you just started talking to:

Keep Reading...Show less

Challah vs. Easter Bread: A Delicious Dilemma

Is there really such a difference in Challah bread or Easter Bread?

loaves of challah and easter bread stacked up aside each other, an abundance of food in baskets

Ever since I could remember, it was a treat to receive Easter Bread made by my grandmother. We would only have it once a year and the wait was excruciating. Now that my grandmother has gotten older, she has stopped baking a lot of her recipes that require a lot of hand usage--her traditional Italian baking means no machines. So for the past few years, I have missed enjoying my Easter Bread.

Keep Reading...Show less

Unlocking Lake People's Secrets: 15 Must-Knows!

There's no other place you'd rather be in the summer.

Group of joyful friends sitting in a boat
Haley Harvey

The people that spend their summers at the lake are a unique group of people.

Whether you grew up going to the lake, have only recently started going, or have only been once or twice, you know it takes a certain kind of person to be a lake person. To the long-time lake people, the lake holds a special place in your heart, no matter how dirty the water may look.

Keep Reading...Show less
Student Life

Top 10 Reasons My School Rocks!

Why I Chose a Small School Over a Big University.

man in black long sleeve shirt and black pants walking on white concrete pathway

I was asked so many times why I wanted to go to a small school when a big university is so much better. Don't get me wrong, I'm sure a big university is great but I absolutely love going to a small school. I know that I miss out on big sporting events and having people actually know where it is. I can't even count how many times I've been asked where it is and I know they won't know so I just say "somewhere in the middle of Wisconsin." But, I get to know most people at my school and I know my professors very well. Not to mention, being able to walk to the other side of campus in 5 minutes at a casual walking pace. I am so happy I made the decision to go to school where I did. I love my school and these are just a few reasons why.

Keep Reading...Show less

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Facebook Comments