PSA: "violent looting" should not be a scapegoat to belittle the Black Lives Matter movement.
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Politics and Activism

PSA: "violent looting" should not be a scapegoat to belittle the Black Lives Matter movement.

this is America.

PSA: "violent looting" should not be a scapegoat to belittle the Black Lives Matter movement.

To say I am exhausted, frustrated, disappointed, and rightfully fueled with anger with what is happening right now would surely be an understatement. Mere words cannot describe where my head is at right now. However, I first wanted to start of by acknowledging my own privileges amidst this conversation regarding institutional racism against the Black community in America. I will never never be able to fully grasp what it's like having to always fear getting shot by the police because I do not have Black skin. Despite being a Brown South-Asian woman in America, I still have the privilege of going on a run outside, entering a jewelry store, restfully sleeping in the comfort of my own bedroom without the fear of getting pinned down to the ground, being shot to death by police, and being suspected of a crime that I did not commit all just because I do not have Black skin.

I would like to personally issue a message to those who are using "violence and looting" as a means of justification to actively silence Black voices and protect white supremacist institutions over the value of Black lives amidst this conversation. To be frank, that shit is not okay. It is not okay for those who have historically been the oppressors to tell the oppressed the correct way to protest their own oppression. When someone claims that "violence is not the answer," they are passively forgetting Black people in America have tried methods of non-violent protests for decades. One example of that is Colin Kaepernick. Kaepernick peacefully kneels during the national anthem to signify how America still has a long way to go (i.e police brutality, racial profiling, mass incarceration, gentrification, medical racism, educational racism, ongoing economic exploitation and criminalized biases of predominantly Black and Brown, historically redlined neighborhoods) when it comes to setting Black America free from racially-hegemonic systems of white supremacy. Despite this, white people have continued to antagonize Kaepernick's kneeling and the Black Lives Matter movement as "anti-American" for so long. By rejecting Kaepernick's choice to peacefully protest for Black lives, one is implicitly choosing the side of the oppressor.

The United States was historically built on the backs on enslaved Black people. Today, Black people remain the backbone of this country's economy because they built it themselves. Therefore, if Black people decide to dismantle the capitalist institutions that they built themselves by just means of protesting to get the police to simply stop killing them, that's what they're going to do. Businesses can always be rebuilt because money is a social construct. However, a Black person's life can never be revived after being shot to death by the police. The value of a Black person's life > capitalism. That's not up for question just on the basis of morality; if that's something that's still up to debate in your mind, friendly reminder to please your check your privilege.

Methods of violence are generally the last resort when it comes to getting white people to address systemic racial disparities. We see that in Bhagat Singh's fight for Indian independence against European colonialism. We saw with the Black Panthers following the Civil Rights movement. There is no such thing as a peaceful protest. That's an oxymoron. Protests are fundamentally not suppose to be peaceful in order to appease the the authoritarian demands of the oppressors. They are not suppose to make non-Black people feel comfortable because racism is not comfortable. Systems of white supremacist law and order have historically functioned and adopted tools of violence like tear gas and lynching, as a means to means to degrade the Black community. Furthermore, the larger purpose of the Black Lives Matter movement is to get non-Black people in America like myself to actively acknowledge our own racial privileges and the systems that perpetuate institutional white supremacy in order to work in alliance with the Black community especially right now. It's about time for white people to be the ones to incite conversations about white privilege and fragility in classrooms or at the dinner table with their white family and friends instead of relying on their Black and Brown friends. Silencing Black voices are not okay. Non-Black people including myself have a moral responsibility to listen and not talk over when Black people are sharing their personal experiences of systemic racism. Enough is enough. We are done waiting. Say their names: George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, Eric Garner, Michael Brown, Sandra Bland, Tamir Rice, Travon Martin, and Emmett Till – just to name a few. Black lives matter.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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