THE POWER OF THE YOUTH

In early June, the United States made history. People around the country and world participated in the largest civil rights movement to occur that featured all 50 states including 18 countries. These protests held weight as the officers involved in the killing of yet another innocent black life- Minneapolis resident, George Floyd was officially faced with charges on June 3rd. 

Photo courtesy of KSTP.com

Many questioned if charges would ever be implemented if it was not for video footage that was shared through social media sites such as, Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. It is almost like technology was our modern-day hero. The way in which the video spread across social media sites established a worldwide feud of protest and demand for justice for George Floyd among other innocent black lives that were taken carelessly. As well as a call for some sort of systematic change within the police and military department. 

Our generation is fueled by social media. We use it to share photos with peers and families, share thoughts through diction, and is even a way to advocate and inspire us. Because of this, many can suggest that the many systems in the United States are drastically broken. Years of laws and legislation embedded to systematically keep People Of Color from excelling in a country that is the “Land of The Free and The Brave.” We have witnessed these injustices through previous years; primarily thanks to social media. 

Say Their Name:

  • George Floyd (2020)
  • Stephon Clarke (2018)
  • Breonna Taylor (2020)
  • Alton Sterling (2016)
  • Philando Castile (2016) 
  • Sandra Bland (2015)
  • Walter Scott
  • Eric Garner (2014)
  • Michael Brown (2014)
  • Tamir Rice (2014)

As of today, we as a generation, a country, a world –  feel inspired more than ever to fight for equality; however, there may be an underlying fear that this inspiration will slowly dwindle and we will fall back into the old habit of sweeping systematic racism under the rug. 

Thirteen days of protesting and because of the one most powerful thing – social media, the purpose of Black Lives Matter has gained more attention than ever before. Protests have happened from the largest cities such as; Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, Minneapolis, Philadelphia, as well as the DMV to the more small and rural areas of Georgia, Arkansas, and Alabama.

 

Our generation is more diverse than ever with allies coming from all ethnicities, genders, and sexual orientations. Our one common goal is the dismantling of universal systematic racism in the police system and create new legislation and policy reform that is not implemented based on an individuals skin color. 

The fight for equality and justice reform will never be easy. It won’t get resolved in a week and it could take as long as a year or even two. However, the one resource that other Civil Rights pioneers did not have but we as a generation do; social media

So I encourage anyone reading this:

  •  sign/repost petitions
  • peacefully protest
  • donate to organizations that are catering towards police reform
  • Watch DocSeries on Netflix about injustice within the Black communities in this country
  • continue to use your social media platform to keep the conversation going. 
  • VOTE

The last point holds so much weight because change happens from the foundation. Local elections are just as important as national elections. Check: https://www.usa.gov/register-to-vote to learn more about how to register in order to ensure that your voices heard this upcoming election, November 3rd!

Below are some of the things that this Black Lives Movement has forced local and state officials to do already: 

  • ‘BLACK LIVES MATTER’ painted on the road leading to the white house as well as the re-naming of the street to be called, ‘Black Lives Matter Plaza’
Courtesy of: Daily Mail
  • Ferguson, Missouri has elected its first African American Mayor in their cities history. 
Courtesy of: Time Magazine
  • Social Media has applied pressure for local and state officials to reopen cases for those who have been innocent victims of police brutality in the past. 
  • U.S. Marines Corps have removed the controversial Confederate flag from being displayed in battlefield gear. 
  • Recording devices have caught aggressiveness that police officials have displayed and have called for immediate charges to be filled.

This is proof that power in numbers leads to change. Don’t give up and don’t let anyone tell you this isn’t important.

Continue to advocate, educate, and rehabilitate this system.

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