Ryan Poon/HIGHLANDER

The death of George Floyd and multiple other black people has reignited media coverage of the Black Lives Matter movement. Both traditional and social media have been covering the protests and  riots over this unjust loss of life nonstop. The pictures being broadcasted look like they are from the Civil Rights era and not from 2020. 

However, the tensions are not just in the streets, but on social media and with my own acquaintances. I can’t go on Instagram or Twitter without seeing battle lines being drawn. It is Blue Lives Matter and All Lives Matter versus Black Lives Matter. For generations, black lives have been treated as if they are expendable. It seems that black lives only matter when they are not being an inconvenience to anyone. Nevertheless these people are an inconvenience to someone like  Amy Cooper, who called the cops on Christian Cooper (no relation) and said that a black man was threatening her when he simply asked her to put her dog on a leash. The Black Lives Matter movement is not saying all lives don’t matter. It is saying because all lives are important, the injustice that black people are subjected to is intolerable. We as people are obligated to uphold what the Pledge of Allegiance says and dispense liberty and justice for all.

Many people have asked me after I posted my support for Black Lives Matter if I hate cops. I only dislike cops who intentionally or unintentionally uphold racist and white supremicist ideologies that are ingrained within the justice system. Before cops put on their uniforms or take their vow to protect and serve, they are people. They were not born as police officers but they were born human. When they go home after a shift and take off their uniform, they are still people. George Floyd, Tamir Rice, Sandra Bland, Trayvon Martin, Ahmaud Arbery and countless others could not take off their skin color. Our skin is a type of uniform. While some people don’t see our skin color as threatening, others  may see it the way it has been seen for hundreds of years, as a threat.

Black lives matter because justice matters. Black lives matter because black people move, breathe and are humans on the same planet we all share.Black lives matter because I may be able to hide things that are trivial like my hair color or my favorite cereal or serious things like my gender identity and my sexual orientation, but I will never be able to deny that my skin is black and the heritage that comes along with it.

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