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  • Lelena Fissehazion

The Black Lives Matter Movement Is About Human Rights, Not Politics

Updated: Nov 16, 2020

When I first saw the video of George Floyd's death, I immediately started crying. Unfortunately, I was not surprised that he was killed, because this is not the first time that the police have abused their power over African Americans. Time after time, police officers have mercilessly killed black people with no regard for their life. Law enforcement treats black people like they are not even human.

This sentiment is shown in the way African Americans are continuously murdered and beaten at the hands of police officers. American civil rights activist Al Sharpton said something that resonated with me: "The knee that Officer Chauvin had on Geroge Floyd's neck is the knee that systemic oppression has had on black people for 401 years."

I do not understand how people watch the video of George Floyd's death and continue to believe that racism does not exist. And I do not understand how you can murder someone on the basis of racist beliefs, believe that what you have done is right, and then go about your day as if nothing happened. Systemic racism and police brutality have plagued America for far too long, and people are tired of it.

This is evident in the protests that have been occurring worldwide. I have personally seen officers at the Black Lives Matter protests that have no regard for African American lives, and it sickens me. A person's skin tone should not be a crime. The case of George Floyd shows that America's law enforcement is riddled with police officers who consider black people to be a threat. These officers act on impulse instead of thought.

At this point, this matter is not about politics. It is about human rights. This is not how you treat a human being. For non people of color, you need to acknowledge your white privilege and have these uncomfortable conversations about racism. People who are silent are those who are allowing this violent behavior and excessive terror to continue. Their silence is violence. If you are not angry about this, then you are not paying attention. I cannot let my brother, father, or cousin become the next hashtag. So let us become the change and spread love, not hate.

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