Remember The Message

The images we’ve seen on social media and television streams have been nothing short of devastating as horrible events of violence are coming to light. Yet, amidst this rally for justice, many of us have remained silent in support of the Black community or have turned away from the fight due to the rise in riots around the country. It is to those of us that are locked in this confusion between our hearts and what we are seeing around us that I want to encourage to reevaluate what is happening in our cities. 

It’s hard. I understand. Looking out at the news coverage of cities in unrest, burning buildings and cars, and thieves taking advantage of the chaos can seem scary and overwhelming and this is likely intentional. But this is not the message. The message is an end to violence and brutality from those in powerful positions in our society to Black people in America and around the world. It’s what the words waving above the crowds of people are demanding and it’s what the masses of posts that are overtaking social media are calling to attention. 

We can’t fully understand what it’s like to be Black in the United States. At the end of the day, we can turn off the news feed and take a mental break from the things that upset us, but Black people cannot take a mental break from the violence that racism breeds and is. For Black people, this is a reality that cannot be escaped when the screens go dark. The fear, anger, and pain linger long after the images go away. Black people don’t get to check out from it all. It is important to be an ally in this fight. Silence doesn’t show support; our words and actions do. I encourage you all to find ways you can assist the members of our community. 

Around the nation, there is hope for a positive change. I see it in the words of support to each other on social media posts, in the hundreds of people standing in the streets, and the support from workplaces. It isn’t enough on its own, and we are far from our goal of lasting and equal justice for all, but our nation is starting to point in the right direction. 

Georgia Tech’s motto is progress and service, and as students of this university, we have a duty to act out this motto in every aspect of our lives. We cannot allow violence and injustice to target the members of our community, and we must support the fight against these oppressions. At Tech, we are a family. Whether you commute or live on campus, we spend so much of our time with our peers. Some of us spend more time with these people than with our own families. For people that are such a big part of our lives, as friends and professors, we should support them just as we would support our own family members. These members of our community are suffering. Our friends and classmates are suffering. 

And if we allow these hateful acts to continue, then we will be giving in to social stagnation. How can we expect to serve the world with a progressive attitude if we abandon members of our community in a time when change is so desperately needed?