Why I Take Part In The "Black Lives Matter" Movement
Start writing a post
Politics and Activism

Why I Take Part In The "Black Lives Matter" Movement

"Writing as writing. Writing as rioting. Writing as righting. On the best days, all three." - Teju Cole

Why I Take Part In The "Black Lives Matter" Movement

On August 9th, 2014, an unarmed black teenager named Mike Brown was shot to death by police officer Darren Wilson. Since then, hundreds of unarmed blacks have been shot and killed by police, only resulting in a small handful of officers who didn't even lose their jobs, let alone receive any convictions or real punishment. I am sure you are aware of the Black Lives Matter movement, as it has become a strangely controversial issue since the time of Mike Brown's murder. I say strange because I do not see how the exclamation of the worth of life can spark so much rebuttal and resentment, especially in the face of proven fatal prejudice within the justice system. On November 24th, 2014, I sat in my U District apartment, refreshing my web browser, waiting for the grand jury's announcement of the verdict of Darren Wilson.

Then, there it was. No indictment.

I, along with many, was outraged. I took to the streets of Seattle, which, with 170 other cities, had erupted into protest.

I walked for hours, mostly with my hands raised above my head, next to rappers Macklemore and Sol, to the chorus of "Hands Up, Don't Shoot." The protest remained unified and peaceful until some decided to continue on to the I-5 freeway onramp, and then up onto the freeway, thereby blocking traffic. I appreciated the spirit of it, so I followed a bit to see how it would pan out. I was wary of the presence of Anonymous, an anarchist group, and their inkling to lead things toward the trajectory of out-of-hand.

As suspected, the police did not appreciate the rebellious nature of the freeway blockage, and a large portion of the group was pepper-sprayed and deterred by percussion grenades. I was lucky enough to run away in time as soon as I saw the haze and people reacting to the spray. I heard later that there were rocks and fireworks being thrown at officers, which was disappointing, as that was not the feeling I gathered from the general public. Furthermore, it was against the wishes of Mike Brown's family, who asked for only peaceful upon the news from the grand jury.

Since then, there has been no widespread sign of progress. Unarmed black people are still seven times as likely to be shot by police than unarmed white people. I still fight with people about the merit of the movement itself and am increasingly angry with the small-mindedness of "All Lives Matter" and "Blue Lives Matter" as rebuttals. I find often that people feel that their voice alone does not matter, or they do not feel that it is necessary for the movement, as they are not victimized. To confront this ideology of sloughing duty on to others, I will quote South African activist Desmond Tutu:

"If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor."
Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
the beatles
Wikipedia Commons

For as long as I can remember, I have been listening to The Beatles. Every year, my mom would appropriately blast “Birthday” on anyone’s birthday. I knew all of the words to “Back In The U.S.S.R” by the time I was 5 (Even though I had no idea what or where the U.S.S.R was). I grew up with John, Paul, George, and Ringo instead Justin, JC, Joey, Chris and Lance (I had to google N*SYNC to remember their names). The highlight of my short life was Paul McCartney in concert twice. I’m not someone to “fangirl” but those days I fangirled hard. The music of The Beatles has gotten me through everything. Their songs have brought me more joy, peace, and comfort. I can listen to them in any situation and find what I need. Here are the best lyrics from The Beatles for every and any occasion.

Keep Reading...Show less
Being Invisible The Best Super Power

The best superpower ever? Being invisible of course. Imagine just being able to go from seen to unseen on a dime. Who wouldn't want to have the opportunity to be invisible? Superman and Batman have nothing on being invisible with their superhero abilities. Here are some things that you could do while being invisible, because being invisible can benefit your social life too.

Keep Reading...Show less

19 Lessons I'll Never Forget from Growing Up In a Small Town

There have been many lessons learned.

houses under green sky
Photo by Alev Takil on Unsplash

Small towns certainly have their pros and cons. Many people who grow up in small towns find themselves counting the days until they get to escape their roots and plant new ones in bigger, "better" places. And that's fine. I'd be lying if I said I hadn't thought those same thoughts before too. We all have, but they say it's important to remember where you came from. When I think about where I come from, I can't help having an overwhelming feeling of gratitude for my roots. Being from a small town has taught me so many important lessons that I will carry with me for the rest of my life.

Keep Reading...Show less
​a woman sitting at a table having a coffee

I can't say "thank you" enough to express how grateful I am for you coming into my life. You have made such a huge impact on my life. I would not be the person I am today without you and I know that you will keep inspiring me to become an even better version of myself.

Keep Reading...Show less
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

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Facebook Comments