As the entire globe demands justice for black lives taken by police brutality, many individuals have gotten defensive. "ALL lives matter," they respond firmly. "I have a very good friend on the front lines who's getting rocks thrown at her, doesn't HER life matter?" "My family works hard, so don't their lives matter?" But assuming that the black lives matter slogan exists to put others on a pedestal is far from the truth. Before criticizing this movement, it is important to fully understand why it exists and why it deserves our full attention.
The black lives matter movement does not exist to make personal struggles seem irrelevant. Bringing awareness to black lives does not mean someone else's life is less valuable either. "Black lives matter,"exists because once in a while, some are reminded of the color of their skin, while others are not. It exists because some were more likely to help their parents with the bills growing up, when others were not. It exists because some are victims of police brutality by an overwhelming percentage, while others are not. It exists because some had to learn exactly what they need to say if they encountered a cop, while others did not. The reason black lives matter, and why George Floyd's name is known across the globe, is because some lives are clearly less important to law enforcement.
As the world finally begins to recognize these injustices, it is important to shine a spotlight on the black community. Showing your support does not undermine your personal struggles; it allows you to help your community by letting black voices finally be heard. Being black in America can get you killed, and everyone has been called upon to do their part. We cannot let our friends die because of the color of their skin.
If you are tired of people being loud in this time of injustice, I encourage you to take a step back and ask yourself why. Justice cannot be achieved if you choose to turn the other cheek. YOU have been presented with the opportunity to make a change. Donate two minutes of your time to sign petitions. Donate to bail funds, memorial funds, and to petitions if you are able to. You have the choice to show America it's time to wake up.
Black Lives Matter.