Black Lives Matter and Why You Should Care


Clay Banks

Protesters at the recent BLM protests.

Recently, Black Lives Matter (BLM) protests have broken out across the country and the world. The protests started after the death of George Floyd, who was killed after an officer knelt on his neck for 8 minutes and 46 seconds. The video of George Floyd’s death went viral, and people across the country started protesting the unnecessary and violent police brutality against black people. Protests eventually broke out in all 50 states and are still happening today. They are fighting for police reform and an end to racial profiling and discrimination. They are also fighting for justice for people who have died from police brutality like George Floyd or Breonna Taylor (whose killers still haven’t been arrested). While the protests were going on, police came out in riot gear, arrested people who were protesting peacefully and often threw tear gas at protestors. Though these protests are fighting for basic human rights; politics has overshadowed the movement. But here’s the thing, people’s lives aren’t politics. Here’s what you should know about the BLM movement. 


Police Brutality disproportionately affects black people. 

As of August 22, 2020, there were only 12 days in the United States where the police haven’t killed anyone. Black people were 28% of the people killed even though they are only 13% of the population. Recently Jacob Blake, a black man, was shot seven times in the back during what was reported as “family trouble.” He is paralyzed and handcuffed to the hospital bed. At protests that sparked after Jacob Blake’s shooting, Kyle Rittenhouse, 17 and white, shot and killed two people, wounding one other. He was not arrested at the protests and only taken into custody the next day back at his home in Illinois. 


Human rights aren’t politics. 

Black children are taught how to behave around police since they were kids. They are taught to be overly respectful and do exactly what the officers say, so they don’t get shot. But it still happens. People shouldn’t be killed for crimes they didn’t commit. And even if they did commit them, they still don’t deserve to die. BLM isn’t a Republican vs. Democrat argument. It is a matter of basic human rights and equality. 


No Justice, No Peace

So many people who are killed by the police don’t even get the justice they deserve. It has been over 180 days since Breonna Taylor was shot unarmed in her own home. The police had a no-knock warrant, and it is unclear if they identified themselves. Her killers, Sgt. John Mattingly, Myles Cosgrove, and Brett Hakinson, as of September 14, 2020, have yet to be charged for her death. Breonna isn’t the only one who hasn’t gotten justice. 


This isn’t just another sucky part of 2020, don’t treat it like one. 

The organization Black Lives Matter was founded all the way back in 2013. Police brutality has been happening for decades and now, people aren’t going to sit and wait for change anymore. Black Lives Matter isn’t just a trend. It isn’t going to pass silently in a couple more months. Do more, be better. To support the movement, sign petitions, protest, support black-owned businesses, and donate. Make a difference in the world, because when the time comes, you will want to be on the right side of history.