Black Lives Matter evolves into a mantra of unity

Keeyah Johnson
GHC student Alexis Johnson marching for Black Lives.

When people hear the names of victims such as Sandra Bland, Stephon Clark, Philandro Castile, George Floyd and Breonna Taylor, it should invoke an indescribable emotion — one filled with anger mixed with sadness. These were victims of police brutality and racial inequality.

Black Lives Matter is an organization whose mission is to eradicate white supremacy and build local power to intervene in violence inflicted on black communities. Recently, however, it has become more than an organization. It is a mantra to unify minorities and allies to fight back against the injustice in the nation.

According to Mapping Police Violence, an estimated total of 897 individuals have died at the hands of police this year alone and “black people have been 28 percent of those killed by police in 2020 despite being only 13 percent of the population.” Police in America are disproportionately killing their black citizens. Which brings up the push for reforming or abolishing the police. The American police administration was built on the grounds of unfair racial bias’ that were conceived during slavery and needs a change.

“I have been an advocate since I was in the 10th grade,” GHC student Alexis Ryan said, “The protesters are being treated poorly at times, but that does not shock me. Historically, in the 60’s peaceful protests/marches took place and those people were sometimes beaten within an inch of their life. It’s what comes with civil disobedience. We just have to keep fighting and not give up even though our lives are essentially on the line.”

“The Black Lives Matter movement is very personal to me. I’m an advocate for it because we need change and justice,” said Cartersville student, Elysia Thompson-Fields. “We’ve never been truly equal to the system built by racist whites to hold power over the black/brown folk. We need Black Lives Matter because people of color’s lives matter. If you think anyone’s race is a reason to treat them differently or not give rights while not acknowledging the wrongs of the past, you’re just as wrong as the system itself.”

There is a constant battle one has to fight while being a person of color. The racial biases that have been implanted into this country since it’s beginning have always been something that prevents people from moving forward. Someone who remains complacent while crimes against a marginalized group occur makes them a part of the problem. It’s time for everyone to stand together to fight racial injustice.