2020 is looking a lot like the pages I used to flip in my history books. I see so many people complaining about the protests or feel like it’s time to end protesting in the streets. I feel like I have seen so many beautiful things happen from these protests and I don’t want them to end. We have so much momentum and the world is at attention.
The protests started because of the brutal killing of George Floyd by a police officer. But before George Floyd, there was Breonna Taylor and Ahmed Arbery. And before them, it was so many other people and we weren’t getting justice. I remember Sean Bell, Jena Six and Trayvon Martin being the first cases I lived through and trying to make sense of it all. I feel like George Floyd was the tipping point for the movement and people are sick and tired of being sick and tired.
I have been at home watching the protests from around the world and I can’t believe this has become an international movement. I feel like for the first time I am optimistic about change. These are the 12 things I’ve noticed since the protests started.
✌️ The world is a melting pot and these protests have brought out people from all races and backgrounds.People are coming together, young and old no matter the race or socioeconomic status or religion. It’s beautiful to see people come together for one cause.
✌️ We have been able to videotape and witness tense moments between police and communities. It made us realize there are things we can work on like accountability and deescalation training.
✌️ People have been able to interact with a different race for the first time. I have met people that have only interacted with only one race their whole life.
✌️ We have put pressure on certain systems to create change. Of course this is only the beginning but this is the first time I feel our voices are being heard.
✌️ People are having their first positive interaction and experience with police. Police are getting a chance to know the communities that they serve. I just think that’s beautiful to see.
✌️ History is being made. We have had a march in each state and this is the largest civil rights movement.
✌️ People are voting, calling their local offices to demand justice and pass laws and even interacting with political figures.
✌️ There is a lot of attention on mayors and governors right now and the people are listening and watching to see how they will lead. We realize that what happens in our state is just as important as what happens on the federal level.
✌️ People are not letting others ruin this movement. In the beginning, there was focus on looting and stealing but now I see journalists emphasizing that the protests are peaceful. I see people protecting their communities and not letting others destroy it. I watched a story of a man sheltering 100 people when the police was after them. I see people cleaning up communities. This movement has brought out the kindness in people.
✌️ People are researching and actively trying to figure out solutions. I love that we are thinking about the what’s next of this movement.
✌️ We are seeing where companies and celebrities stand on issues. It’s nice to see those that profit off of Black culture want to protect Black people too. In our personal circles, we notice who is quiet and who is really fighting for us.
✌️ People are understanding why we have been saying Black Lives Matter all these years. We were never saying that only our lives mattered, we wanted to plead to people that we matter and we deserve to be treated fairly. People are seeing the racial injustice we have been screaming about. They are seeing the racial disparities. People are understanding the plight that we face daily being Black in America.
I could go on and on but these are things that stuck out to me most. I feel like this movement has changed us and we will never go back to the normal that people are seeking. I hope that all of these conversations we are having lead to change so we can leave a better world to our children.