Black Lives Matter, Louisville Protests, and Me | Sydney Geis
Over the past week or so our country has gone from most people staying inside their homes to hundreds taking the streets to bring attention to the violent murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Aubrey, and so many more. Our own streets have been flooded with hundreds of protestors fighting for the conviction of the LMPD officers, John Mattingly, Brett Hankison, and Myles Cosgrove, that were involved in the murder of Breonna Taylor. Across the country protests have formed to call out the corruption and violence that plagues many police forces. People everywhere are tired of injustices, and the systematic racism against black people that leads to crimes such as the murders of Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, and Ahmaud Aubrey. During this time period in our country you don’t have to be black to care, to take action, to be angry, or to demand justice.
Growing up in Louisville as a black, mixed race person, I am no stranger to casual racism intermingled within our society. Different things such as hearing the n word out of non black people’s mouths to someone making fun of a black person’s hair texture/style have been in my life for as long as I can remember. For me and many others, institutionalized racism has always been at the frontline of our issues, and the biggest threat to our safety. Now more than ever, people from all races are starting to pay attention to what black people have to say about our own human experiences, and the discussion has begun to open up.
Many people, myself included, are feeling angry, and sad right now because George Floyd shouldn’t be dead. Breonna Taylor shouldn’t be dead, Ahmaud Aubrey shouldn’t be dead, Stephon Clark shouldn’t be dead, Tamir Rice shouldn’t be dead, Trayvon Martin shouldn’t be dead, Alton Sterling shouldn’t be dead, Sandra Bland shouldn’t be dead, Alejandro Vargas Martinez shouldn’t be dead, Botham Jean shouldn’t be dead, Mike Brown shouldn’t be dead, but they are, and hardly any justice has been found. This is why we shout #BLACKLIVESMATTER. It is not to claim other lives don’t, it is simply to highlight the fact that right now black lives are being taken, and justice needs to be served.
There are many ways to help the cause, and they are all listed down below. I’ve been reposting lots of pictures, and hashtags to continue to bring attention to the tragic murders of so many. I encourage many to do the same, but to also remember to stay respectful and engaged. Reposting things such as “black lives matter chain” in which you simply tag your friends is hardly helpful, and is simply just preformative activism. I know it comes from good intentions, but it would be much more effective to repost things such as links to petitions, gofundme campaigns for the victims' families, and informational posts. In the past week I have seen the murder of George Floyd reposted countless of times. When reposting such violent, and cruel acts it is important to put a trigger warning, or some sort of “heads up” to allow viewers the time to skip the video. While I think it is important for people to see what heinous acts are committed on black people, it is also important to not desensitise violence against black people.
Finally, I hope that after the heat of protests, and social media posts die down every ally chooses to continue the fight for every black person. This is an ongoing issue, and to only hollowly repost social media posts is asinine. Stand up for your black friends in real life, whether or not they are around. Stand up against the casual racism that floods our society. Remember that black people don’t need to explain to you why they say #BLACKLIVESMATTER or ACAP/ACAB. Remember to use your privilege to help others. If you are silent in a time like this, it speaks volume of your character. Like Desmund Tutu said, “If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor.”
TEXT “FLOYD” to 55156
TEXT “ENOUGH” to 55156
OFFICIAL GEORGE FLOYD MEMORIAL FUND
AHMAUD AUBREY GOFUNDME
NATIONAL BAIL FUND NETWORK
LOUISVILLE COMMUNITY BAIL FUND
BREONNA TAYLOR PETITION
AHMAUD AUBREY PETITION