Slavery ended 155 years ago, segregation ended in 1964, and yet racism is still prominent in America. When the Black Lives Matter protests started during the summer after George Floyd’s tragic death, Twitter was filled with anger. Most of the tweets were anger toward the cop who killed Floyd, but some tweets were angry at the protestors. White privilege has always been a thing. As a white woman, I go into my car and don’t worry about a cop pulling me over. I don’t get called racist slurs. White privilege is something people have to be aware of.
About a week ago, members of the Proud Boys and Trump supporters burned a BLM banner. This event took place in the Black Lives Matter Plaza, in Washington D.C. Kelly Woodson, a student and the Vice President of the Black Student Alliance at the Catholic University of America, says the message sent from burning the banner is, “we don’t care about you.” Both of these groups have sent a message of hate to the Black community by burning this banner. Many people believe that the Black Lives Matter movement is a terrorist group. In reality, this symbolic banner stands for “safety, to not live life with fear,” Woodson explains. Though those words seem so simple, so normal, they have a power that helps the Black community feel safe — not just adults, but kids and grandkids as well. “There are people who are killed because their skin color is seen as a sign of a threat and not a sign of beauty,” Woodson says about the killings of people of color. “People will not want you in this world because of the way that you look,” Woodson states, which is something I will have to tell my children.
“Every time I open my Twitter all I see is, one black man down, two black women down,” Woodson says. The recent killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery has opened the eyes of many Americans. Why are all these people getting killed? Doesn’t it make you think that racism is still prevalent in America? The sad truth is that right now, there is a racial war going on. A fire has been lit and it is burning brightly due to our current president. “I don’t want my kids to think this is the norm,” Woodson says. According to Forbes, since January 2015, 1,252 Black Americans were killed due to police shootings.
There’s the talk a parent always has with their kids about the birds and the bees. In the Black community, there are two talks you have to give your kids, but one is dreaded — the talk about what to do when a cop pulls you over. “I will always leave my house 30-40 minutes before work, that way I don’t have to risk the point of speeding to not get pulled over,” Woodson says. “No matter how fast we speed, we will get pulled over,” Woodson emphasizes. The fact that just because of skin color they can get pulled over for the simplest thing is not right.
One of President-elect Biden’s messages in his campaign was that he was an ally to the Black community. His first step was selecting a diverse administration and putting people of color in cabinet positions. “It is so important that people of color are recognized that they are holding high positions because it shows little black boys and girls that yes, you can do this,” Woodson explains about the importance of inclusion in high positions. For Joe Biden to hold his promise of protecting and helping the Black community, he needs to dig deep into the States and see what they are needed for. Not only economically, but also educationally, and in jobs and health.
With racism being a tough issue to tackle, it is our turn to step in, acknowledge the problem, and try our best to solve it. Understand the privilege you have. Donate to organizations that help Black communities. Teach your kids to love one another. No matter what race, everyone is human.