By Nadia Charles
I can’t help the anger, frustration, sadness I feel about the recent events happening to Black women and men. My last nights have been spent advocating for Black Lives Matter (BLM) and deflecting racial slurs. I haven’t really slept since the George Floyd incident, as the videos of his murder and others replay in my mind. The killing of innocent Black lives has become the new normal for my generation. I have become numb and desensitized to violence, especially when watching videos on social media, or reading headlines about another Black life being taken at the hands of the police department. Black families have to live in constant fear of seeing their child dead on the news because of the color of their skin. Enough is Enough.
A post on Instagram was titled, “Things Black People are expected to do after witnessing the murder of yet another Black life”. On the list, it said, “show up to work/school, smile, and not randomly burst into tears.” Every time that another senseless murder has hurt the Black community we are forced to suppress all emotions as I do when I wake up to attend my predominately white private school. Black people shouldn’t be afraid to express their emotions, but don’t out of the fear of being seen as unprofessional or fitting into society’s stereotypes of the “angry Black person.”
You can no longer be ignorant or pretend to not know the current climate of the country because there are too many resources available. Don’t just repost pictures because it is trendy, but repost to spread awareness. Take the time out of your day to educate yourself about what has happened to these innocent Black people. Remember their names. I saw too many people, especially celebrities who not only have the finances but a platform that influences millions, only post a black square on #BlackoutTuesday, as if that was enough. Actions speak louder than words and the youth, specifically GenZ, can’t be the only ones fighting for progress. Discuss the hard and uncomfortable topics such as race and white privilege with your friends, family, and even your school community. Let’s fight hard for Ahmaud Arbery, George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, and the countless others who died at the hands of policemen. Riots are the language of the unheard,” said Dr. King, and it’s about time they hear us. This is my reality as a 17-year-old African American girl but this is OUR fight.