By Katherine To-Hauser
Founded in 2013 by Alicia Garza, Patrisse Cullors, and Opal Tometi, the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement created turbulence throughout American and global society. The movement concerns itself with human rights, originating in Black communities in America. Enough is enough, it cries. Black Americans are systemically racialized and targeted daily in the United States, imagined by the government as vessels of violence. The movement speaks to more than those it affects directly, it addresses all of us. It questions and tests our humanity, our ethics, and our solidarity. The importance of the movement should resonate with all of us as a society. Years of oppression and violence have been swept aside and people have had more than enough.
The recent death of 46-year-old father, George Floyd has demonstrated this need and desperation for change. The protests and other forms of activism were sparked by Floyd, one of the most recent victims of anti-Black racism. Black lives are seen as disposable in the eyes of power in the United States. And we must reinforce that Black Lives Matter. Floyd comes to us as the tip of the iceberg, the last straw. We remember all the lives lost in this movement.
In all 50 states, there have been BLM protests. In Canada, Germany, France, Denmark, and other countries across the world, there has been an uproar of anger, sympathy, and support for the movement. There have been trends shared around the world. There are videos, information, photos, and tips being spread to one another, to help each other keep active and informed. People are using technology as a catalyst for education and awareness.
Others use it to stroke their ego, to rid themselves of guilt, to be in-season. Racism is not a fashion trend. People’s lives are not a game to be played. So, you must ask yourself: Why are you in this fight? Who are you fighting for? Does what you do make an impact? What can you do? Use your resources. When you see a video, watch it. Read the comments. Donate your time, your words and if you can, your money. Sign petitions. Support the black community through music, stream songs. Listen to the words spoken. Share a photo. Share an explanation too. This fight is more than a hashtag. Seeing our communities banding together is incredible. Seeing all those uneducated, unaccompanied black squares on Tuesday for #BlackOutTuesday made me want to delete Instagram. Do more. Do more than the bare minimum to scrape off any guilt or pressure you may feel. Becoming a part of this fight is a choice. You choose to be consistent. You choose to have a voice. Don’t abuse it.
To those who choose to remain apart from the fight, your silence is oppressive. That is the privilege talking, thinking that the problem is not yours because it does not directly affect you. Are you sick of all the posts? Are you up to your nose in BLM reminders? #BLM, ‘We stand together’, ‘End Racism’. Are you sick of it? I am. You should be too. It should be sickening that the world needs a reminder to treat human beings like human beings. Remember that this is not about you, it’s about all of us.
Racism exists everywhere. To those living outside the USA, we observe from behind bars of safety. We gaze into America from the outside. We must stand as allies of this fight. Use this as an opportunity to bring the conversation of racism to the table. Racism is nuanced. It is not the same from country to country. Support Black Lives Matter and support the fight against racism in your own country too. You can’t be a part of every movement, so make what you do count.
Being active doesn’t need to mean protesting or posting or donating. Sign a petition. Start a conversation. The size of your effort doesn’t matter as long as you’re consistent and you won’t stop caring when the trend dies.
Eric Garner. John Crawford III. Michael Brown. Ezell Ford. Dante Parker. Michelle Cusseuz. Laquan McDonald. George Mann. Tanisha Anderson. Akai Gurley. Tamir Rice. Rumain brisbon. Jerame Reid. Matthew Ajibade. Frank Smart. Natasha McKenne. Tony Robinson. Anthony Hill. Mya Hall. Phillip White. Eric Harris. Walter Scott. William Chapman II. Alexia Christian. Brendon Glenn. Victor Manuel Larosa. Jonathan Sanders. Freddie Blue. Joseph Mann. Salvado Ellswood. Sandra Bland. Albert Joseph Davis. Darrius Stewart. Billy Ray Davis. Samuel Dubose. Michael Sabbie. Brian Keith Day. Christian Taylor. Troy Robinson. Lamontez Jones. Paterson brown. Dominic Hutchinson. Anthony Ashford. Alonzo Smith. Tyree Crawford. India Kager. La’Vante Biggs. Michael Lee Marshall. Jamar Clark. Richard Perkins. Nathaniel Harris Pickett. Benni Lee Tignor. Miguel Espinal. Michael Noel. Kevin Matthews. Bette Jones. Quintonio Legrier. Keith Childress Jr. Janet Wilson. Randy Nelson. Antronie Schott. Wendell Celestine. David Joseph. Calin Roquemore. Dyzhawn Perkins. Christopher Davis. Marco Loud. Peter Gaines. Torrey Robinson. Darius Robinson. Kevin Hicks. Mary Truxillo. Demarcus Semer. Willie Tillman. Terrill Thomas. Sylville Smith. Alton Sterling. Philando Castile. Terence Crutcher. Paul O’Neal. Alteria Woods. Jordan Edwards. Aaron Bailey. Ronell Foster. Stephon Clarke. Antwon Rose II. Botham Jean Pamela Turner. Dominique Clayton. Atatiana Jefferson. Christopher Whitefield. Christopher McCorvey. Eric Reason. Michael Lorenzo Dean. Breonna Taylor. Ahmaud Aubrey. George Floyd.
(Not all names were listed)
Katherine To-Hauser, Class of 2022, is a Gender Studies, Rhetorics, and Sociology major from Dallas, the United States.