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  • Lelena Fissehazion

Black Lives Matter Is Not a Trend

It may seem easy for people to go back to their lives as if nothing happened because their feeds went back to normal. However, black people do not have the luxury of living in that bubble. Black Lives Matter should not be a trend.

When we continue to go about our lives ignoring the ways in which law enforcement mistreats the black community, then we become a part of the problem. Our voices have so much power. We must use them to spread awareness about those in marginalized communities.

Protestor has the floor at the George Floyd protests. Photo by Clay Banks.

The message of the Black Lives Matter movement also encompasses fighting against the unjust education system, prisons, poor health care, and other issues that actively hurt the black community.

Black people have been murdered by police officers for running, walking, driving, and even sitting down in their own homes. It goes without saying that the chances of these officers facing legal repercussions for their actions are very slim. It is not fair that the color of a person’s skin makes them a threat and signifies that their life does not matter.

If we are not actively following up with our support for the Black Lives Matter movement by signing petitions, participating in social media campaigns, being politically active in our local communities, or bringing awareness to the injustices black people face every day, then our black squares mean nothing.

If we constantly condone the appropriation of black culture but do not make the effort to right the wrongs of the issues plaguing the black community, then we are moving backwards, rather than forwards.

People should not be afraid to post about Black Lives Matter because they do not want to mess up their feeds. Now is not the time to be selfish. People’s lives are at stake. Social media is a powerful tool. Using it to spread awareness about the many injustices done to the black community should not even be a question. Our use of social media is our chance to make a difference.

If we deliberately ignore the pain of the black community, then we disrespect the people who lost their lives to police brutality, like Breonna Taylor, Tamir Rice, and many more. Their families do not have the ability to simply move on as if nothing happened.

Allowing our conversations to go back to normal defeats all of the progress that we made with the protests. It is a fact that people turn to social media for news. So when we stop posting about protests and new occurrences of police brutality and allow them to go unnoticed, then we become complicit in the crimes committed against the black community.

The selfish mentality of particular non-POC who believe that it is not their obligation to support the Black Lives Matter movement because the issues facing the black community do not affect them is detrimental to the movement as a whole. It baffles me that we need to convince people to care about human rights.

Since social media holds influence in our everyday lives, we need to use it to educate each other. The daily conversations about race-related issues that we have with one another are also crucial to preserve the influence of the Black Lives Matter movement.

Each and every one of us has the ability to decide whether or not we will let the momentum of the movement die out. It is our responsibility to continue to fight and be the change we want to see in the world.

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