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When You Tell Someone Who’s Black that “Black Lives Matter” is Dumb

Every morning I wake up and glance at the news hoping to see a positive headline. In a perfect world, the news would mainly be stories about people helping people. Instead, I wake up and read stories about people killing people. Bombings in cities and violence against citizens create the stories we have grown accustomed to reading. It breaks my heart a little bit every time I see a story about people being murdered for no real reason. Killing people in their place of worship, targeting cops because some are crooked, and senselessly shooting people repeatedly, are the big stories I read and can’t digest. Naturally, these stories form the basis for some conversations with people, and due to current events, Black Lives Matter comes up frequently. Given the amount of melanin in my skin, Black Lives Matter seems to be a topic people like to approach with me.

People will say things like Black Lives Matter is dumb. Really? That tells me everything I need to know about a person. I’m not saying that people are wrong when they don’t support the Black Lives Matter movement; I’m saying that they feed into society’s problem with institutionalized racism, especially when they follow up with “All Lives Matter.” Obviously these people who devalue Black Lives Matter know a lot about issues people of color face if they feel they can say “All Lives Matter and Cop Lives Matter.” Of course all lives matter, we’re all humans, but guess what, some lives get more protection over others. Lucky for you, you don’t actually have to concern yourself with unequal treatment based on your race. Unlucky for you, you will still be impacted by marginalized groups being mistreated. Sorry to inconvenience you with an issue that you don’t want to concern yourself with.

I understand that this may be off putting to some. Understand, I don’t care. We get too wrapped up in our own stuff to really consider the issues of our society. These issues are not going to just go away, and our generation needs to be concerned because the issues affect us greatly. We need to educate ourselves to better our society and not allow it to revert to old ways. As a society, we need to keep moving forward, which means addressing race issues, gender issues, and really any issues that prevent positive progress.

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Emily Cornell

U Wyoming '17

Emily is a graduate of the University of Wyoming with a Bachelor's in Business Management and Master's in Communication. In terms of career, Emily interned for Wyoming Athletics, and wants to eventually work in sports marketing. When not working or in class, she can typically be found baking cheesecakes, drinking coffee, or having random adventures. If the idea of these three things seem exciting, you can follow her on Instagram or Twitter, username: emilproblems. 
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