Black lives deserve to matter



Activists, some wearing face coverings or face masks as a precautionary measure against COVID-19, hold placards as they attend a Black Lives Matter march from Hyde Park, central London on June 20, 2020.

Skylar Beckford, Reporter

As I am sure you have heard, 46-year-old black man George Floyd was killed during an arrest in May of this year. His death sparked an uproar of people fed up with the systemic racism in America. Hundreds of thousands of Americans have come together to fight the unjustified treatment of black men and women. They have marched the streets, used their voices, and preached “Black Lives Matter” to spread awareness about the blatant racism and discrimination of black people in this country.

This isn’t just an issue in America; this is a global issue. But as a young white woman, I can never say that I will even begin to feel the struggles of the black community. My white privilege has blinded me for my entire life. I have never feared being kicked out of school for the texture of my hair, or worried that a traffic stop might be the last moments of my life. I will never know what it is like to live through the eyes of a black person, and that is simply because of the color of my skin.

In just one of many cases, Ruby Williams, 14 at the time, was repeatedly sent home for the texture of her hair. At first, the school’s reasoning was that her hair was too distracting, but even after several attempts at different hairstyles, the school was still not satisfied. The dispute between Ruby’s family and the school happened after several students and teachers came forward about the school unfairly punishing black students for their hairstyles. However, hair is just the tip of the discrimination iceberg.

As a young white woman, I stand with the black community. I hear their frustration and their pain, and I want justice. It is unacceptable to turn a blind eye to these issues. We have to stop settling for less because our ignorance costs people their lives. Our silence is compliance. Use your social media platforms, educate yourself, and spread awareness. “Black Lives Matter” is more than just a phrase; it is a wake-up call that we have needed for way too long.