The Black Lives Matter movement has been gaining more and more coverage and momentum daily, which means that each day, we're one step closer to getting justice for the countless innocent lives that have been wrongfully lost and for stopping the prejudice and danger that black people face daily. But racism has always been an issue. It starts at home and doesn't stay home.
As you've probably seen on every social media platform, donations and petitions are being shared for dozens of charities and organizations that help this cause; however, this will not fix the problem. At least not in the longterm. Even though you are helping, you're giving the responsibility of fixing this issue to others when could also have an active role. People shouldn't JUST donate or sign petitions. They should also take the initiative to change their beliefs and to love and accept everyone. I'm not here to give you a list of books, movies, organizations, and petitions because there are plenty resources on the internet. But what some people forget is that this issue needs to be dealt with externally and internally.
1. We are scared of what we don’t know, so we can all educate ourselves on this matter. That way, there should be no reason for being scared and/or hateful of certain groups of people.
2. Educating yourself isn’t enough. You can have all the facts straight and still treat people unfairly. Learn to accept everyone, no matter where they come from, what they believe in, or what their skin color is. You can't advocate for treating everyone humanely when you yourself can sometimes (albeit possibly unintentionally) view or treat them as otherwise.
3. If you see a close friend or family member act hateful, try to help them see why it’s wrong. Don’t force them to, as that never gets anywhere. But be gentle and patient and show them why there’s no reason to hate. It is up to them to change their ways, as it is up to you to change yours. You can only show them a better path, but they have to be the ones that want to take it.
These 3 points are, in my opinion, the most important points we should remember. The BLM movement has been here forever, and has been on-and-off for several years. Many of the organizations that you're donating to have been around before 2020, but due to the lack of coverage, not enough people have been aware of their existence. People have not educated themselves on the matter to take action sooner. And these organizations shouldn't have to exist in the first place, but people have not looked deep inside themselves to change their views and prevent the issue at hand.
After these 3 points, you can do the other 3 that are universally known: Donate, Sign Petitions, and Protest.
But just remember one thing: You can protest, but you are not forced to. If you do decide to protest, please keep your safety first and go out with masks, layers of clothing, alcoholic sprays to disinfect, and anything else you thing you’ll need. Do not wear jewelry while out and wear comfortable shoes. Don’t bring cash with you unless you absolutely need it. And most importantly, please be peaceful. Many atrocities have been committed, but you should not fight back with violence. Please do not think of this as an opportunity to loot stores, set buildings on fire, and to spray-paint “BLM” or the such on walls or cars. You’re here to support the members of the community. You’re not here to get them in more trouble. You’re here to back them up, to show you care, and to work hard for change.
Something else that I feel I have to talk about is the commonly-hated response to the BLM movement: "All Lives Matter". We all know that all lives matter. But not every life has been in danger the way black lives have. So yes, we can say "Not All Lives Matter until Black Lives Do". But here's another issue at hand. Even once Black lives matter (AKA, the prejudice against them is no more), 'all lives' will still not matter. Racism and hatecrimes are not only aimed at Black people. Countless people with other ethnicities have been wrongfully murdered and oppressed all over the world and they all need to be acknowledged in addition to African Americans: Latinos all over the world, but mostly in the U.S.. Aboriginal people that have lost their land and many have lost their lives for fighting what was theirs. Middle Easterners such as Palestinians and Afghanis are forced to have their homes be turned into battlefields, while other Middle Easterners are treated as terrorists and hated for their religion. Indians, Pakistanis, and the Chinese have been mocked and have been murder for no reason other than their race and for asking to be treated humanely.
Just this past week, dozens of Afghani people have either been burned, drowned, beaten up, or thrown in jail for no reason other than being Afghani. However that doesn't get any coverage on the news or on social media when it should. It saddens me that so many of these atrocities are being committed yet not many people know about them. Black lives do and should matter. That's a given. But racism will not end when once this group of people is finally respected and loved the way they deserve (and deserved) to be. George Floyd’s death was unjust but was the spark that reignited the BLM movement and turned it into a worldwide movement. But his life shouldn't ONLY spark this one movement. This is a universal issue that many all over the world are suffering through. This is not just racism against African Americans. This movement should become the movement that sparks other movements. We should fight to end racism for everyone. So continue your fight for seeking justice for the innocents that have been killed because of police brutality. Continue fighting for Black people. Continue until black lives do finally matter to everyone. But remember that this is not just one fight. This cannot end after the protests end. This fight should not end once Black people are finally safe. This should end once every person on this planet feels safe and heard and loved. Continue this fight for the other groups of people that have no voice. Let the success of the BLM give way to other movements of the same cause. This is only the beginning, but hopefully this will be the last time we will have to fight for something that is every person’s basic right.