We are the people who must act now. We are the people who must make the invisible, pervasive systems of injustice transparent. We need to shine our collective light on what’s wrong and what’s been happening while also offering new ways to exist. We will do this through the collective action of our rising voices everywhere that they need to be heard. We need to recognize that the system is not broken. The United States of America is founded on ideals that degraded non-white people into non-human beings. The United States of American is founded on ideals that marginalized women and minimized their contributions. The United States of America is founded on ideals that turns people into commodities. The United States of America is founded on the blood-soaked ground of millions of native people.
Those of us with privilege must listen and stand alongside the voices of the unheard. We need to recognize that we do not have the same life experience, but we can push to change that. All human lives should matter but, to paraphrase Animal Farm, some human lives matter more than others in our current state. To truly make all human lives matter we need more than body cameras on all police. We need more than the empty promises of politicians. We need to shape a new culture that recognizes the inherent worth of all human beings. To do this we will need to shed our values of humans as commodities.
The time to act is now. We need to know what we want, take action to get it, and reflect on if it’s going the way we planned and including the voices of everyone. We’ve seen killers walk free after trials. We’ve seen killers walk free before even facing a trial. We’ve watched a father be murdered by illegal restraint on video. We’ve watched a 12 year old boy get shot before getting a chance to surrender. We’ve seen the injustice come to life in front of us in ways that wasn’t possible before now. This brutality isn’t new but we’re just now seeing it. It’s just now coming to our consciousness. We should be pissed because it’s happening and because we haven’t known before now.
We need to understand that this is not as simple as doing some trainings or watching a buzzfeed video about microaggressions. We’ve been shown the depth of the injustice. It runs deep and throughout our history. It’s not just on the individual levels but infused into our institutions and governments. It dictates every level of our cultures down to the most minute detail. Nearly everything we do or participate in is founded upon injustice. So those of us who have been privileged in our lives regardless of the reason have a responsibility. We have to listen. We have to notice. We have to speak. We have to stand together because we have to recognize the change that is necessary.
In the wake of the senseless deaths of Michael Brown, Eric Garner, Tamir Rice, and Rumain Brisbon (and many, many others) we can begin to see and that sight of constant injustice radicalized us. We know that we must grasp at the root of the problem and we know that’s not easy. We must stand in solidarity with each other to support the movement toward justice. We must all grasp at the root together in order to truly create the beloved community that we all deserve.