Author’s Note: The opinions expressed in this article do not represent the viewpoints of the entire campus community. Racism is a difficult topic. For more information on the Black Lives Matter movement and ways to help, visit www.blacklivesmatters.carrd.co/
In the midst of America’s battle with COVID-19, the country has been reminded of a crisis within the Black community.
The Black Lives Matter movement has been at the forefront of many minds since the death of Ahmaud Arbery occurred in February of this year. Arbery was reported to have been on a jog when two Georgia residents chased him down and killed him. Arbery’s killers were not arrested until months after the incident had happened.
Breonna Taylor’s murder occurred in March of this year when three police officers forcibly entered her home in Louisville, Kentucky, having been issued what is known as a no-knock warrant. Taylor was shot and killed.
The police officers involved in the shooting have, in the minds of many, faced little to no repercussions for their actions. Noknock warrants have since been banned in Louisville.
Two months after the death of Taylor, George Floyd was choked to death in Minneapolis while being arrested for charges involving counterfeit money. The four police officers involved in Floyd’s killing were fired, and one was charged for Floyd’s death.
In early August, Jacob Blake was shot seven times in the back in front of his three young children. Blake now faces partial paralysis.
These are just a few examples of the way police brutality and systemic racism come together to harm people in the Black community. In many of these examples, proper action wasn’t taken until videos of the murders circulated around the internet, causing protests to erupt across the county.
These riots and protests have been the subject of much debate; many, however argue that protesting and rioting aren’t the problem. Black Lives Matter has been a movement for much longer than the amount of time it has had in popular culture with a profound effect on the Black community and its allies.
One thing to consider is the important of this movement in today’s society.
“A lot of people like to ignore the racism that happens in this world and see us as criminals and as people that just don’t matter.”Mirayah Thomas (’24)
“Movements related to Black Lives Matter are important in today’s society because they advocate for our voices to be heard… They motivateZoey Moore (’24)
us to speak out against [the] racism and oppression we may experience.”
As college students, it can be difficult and overwhelming to know how to advocate for positive change. The first step, however, is to research.
“I think students can be good advocates by doing research using as non-biased sources as possible, which means looking at news and articles that may come from sources we don’t tend to look at,” said Sophia Payne (’22).
“I think students should use the research and talk with their friends about what [they] can do to make a difference and have discussions with those who may not agree with us on why that is.”
Educational resources can be found all over the internet, as well as different organizations to donate to. Another way to be an advocate for change is to talk about the issue.
“Students can advocate for change by bringing awareness to issues, educating their peers, attending protests and amplifying the voices of activists that have been doing this work for a long time,” said Thomas Burns (‘24).
Systemic racism, while deeply ingrained into our nation’s history, can be stopped through the efforts of not only the Black community, but also its allies. With combined efforts, our country can be what it was originally meant to be—the land of the free.