It's a question that I have been asked a few times from various friends, family members, and associates over the years. I wondered for years what does term actually mean. Over the past year the issue of police violence has impacted and changed America. The ripple effects of what all of this means will be continued to be debated for the foreseeable future.
I currently go to a university that is 3% African American and right now it seems that there is an issue with people understanding the police violence that is happening. While there is considerable disappointment and anger in the African American (AA) community, it seems that unless the story is fresh on everyone's mind, it fades into the background. For years, it has seemed that police violence has been ignored except by people who have experienced it before. I am glad that people are starting to standup and not accept the stand that there should be this type of violence towards other people.
In Baltimore a few weeks ago, a man named Freddie Grey was arrested and while riding in a police van sustained injuries that eventually killed him. This city, plagued from years of unemployment and violence decided that they were going to not accept this anymore. Now I do not agree with this response. Looting and rioting is an inappropriate response no matter what has happened.
A new student that I was advising came up to me right after this happened and asked me, why this happened, referring to the situation. The next question that he asked me was, what else are they supposed to do? Now I am very rarely speechless, I usually know what I am going to say next but I truly had no response to that question. You would think to say they should just peacefully protest but that didn't feel right for a response.
As a person that spent a fair amount of their childhood in the DC area I spent some time in Baltimore growing up. I have friends that go to college in Baltimore and in the surrounding area; I also have had a sibling go to school in Baltimore. It is only roughly 30 miles from where I spent years of my childhood. It is a place that outside of the inner harbor area is poor and struggling.
When thinking of the concept of Do Black Lives Matter?, I want everyone to think instead, Do Human Lives Matter? If you think of it that way, it is a lot easier to see the pain that people have and why they are protesting. I still think about that question that I was asked, what else are they supposed to do?
I think that's a question that we should all ask ourselves, what else are they supposed to do?
Right now in America, we are at a crescendo at least when it comes to race, Lets makes sure where we go from here is positive and spreads love.
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