Black lives matter is a divisive statement across this country and has been known to spark arguments between friends. But what does it actually mean?
Black lives matter because they're incarcerated at a higher rate than white lives. In many cases, even for the same crime.
Black lives matter because red-lining has defunded public schools and allowed banks to legally deny individuals in minority filled and impoverished neighborhoods.
Black lives matter because a man who is black is 2.5 times more likely to be killed by a police officer than a white man and a black woman is 1.4 times more likely.
Black lives matter because while Dylan Roof, a man who murdered 9 African-Americans in a church, gets free Burger King from the cops on his way to the police station, Eric Garner and George Floyd never received the opportunity to make it to the police station alive.
By saying Black Lives Matter, we are not saying everyone else doesn't matter. What we are exclaiming, is that their lives should matter. In all the ways listed above, our system makes it seem like their lives don't matter.
For hundreds of years, injustice has been served to the African-American community and yet all that continues to happen is other races want to give their tone deaf opinion on what black people should do.
"Find another way to protest", or "get over slavery", or "stop resisting" are all common statements heard when the conversation of systemic racism comes up.
After hundreds of years of racism in this country, they are crying out for help in the form of riots and protests breaking out across the country everyday.
I stand with the black community in their protests and wish to tell anyone standing against it, you will find yourself on the wrong side of history. I believe as a country we can be better. We are told this country is the land of the free, yet our black community does not feel free.
The police abuse and systemic racism must end.
As the black community continues to protest this week, all I see is individuals demanding to be heard, as they've felt silenced for generations. I hope that going forward we are able to hear them and move forward in the direction of positive change. This positive change should start with three more arrests being made in the murder of George Floyd and four convictions.
The government should show a no tolerance policy against cops and others who are harming the black communities. When we show a commitment to this, only then will their community begin to truly heal.
Black Lives Matter and let's make this the time for our black community finally feels like that their government believes this too.
Don't stay silent on this injustice. Speak out and find ways to help your local community.