This year, I have been working within the role of Community Facilitator on my campus— basically a Resident Assistant— and it’s been a wonderful experience. I’ve learned so much about myself, about leadership and collaboration, about time management and responsibility.
Within the past month, however, a couple things arose that highlighted the less-than-glamorous position. A co-worker of mine made a Black Lives Matter bulletin board last quarter. This quarter, someone in the building decided to remove the “Black” from “Black Lives Matter,” and it was promptly replaced. Five days later, the sign went missing again. And again.
So I’m here to remind the world that yes, Black Lives (Still) Matter. And for the sake of humanity, we need to be allies to this movement and to the people in this country who have suffered long enough.
There’s a lot of argument concerning the inclusivity of this movement’s name. Well, for starters, U.S. history has not been the most inclusive. That’s the point. Black lives have been continuously trod upon since the creation of this nation. That’s the point. We live in a country built upon the backs of African slaves, and the effects of this history are far from eradicated. That’s the point.
The Black Lives Matter movement has not lost relevance because racism still exists in the very structures of our nation. The Black Lives Matter movement is not about political correctness. The Black Lives Matter movement is not about excluding other groups that are suffering. The Black Lives Matter movement is not about sensitivity.
The Black Lives Matter movement is about trying to lift those who have been marginalized and mistreated for centuries to true equality within every system. No other group in the United States was captured, enslaved, and forced to work the fields in conditions difficult to talk about. No other group was treated in the same way. No other group shares the same beaten history as those of African-American descent in this country. And as such, no other group is as uniquely, systematically, and historically disenfranchised.
That’s the point.
It's about a specific group, a specific social hierarchy, a specific history. That's why the name of the movement itself is specific.
This movement has lost a lot of media attention in the last year or so, but it is far from over. It is still relevant. It’s been relevant for centuries. And it will continue to be relevant, vital, until things change for good.
Black Lives Matter, and don’t you forget it.