"Racism isn't getting worse, it's getting filmed" - Will Smith

Eric Garner, Michael Brown, Tamir Rice, Philando Castile, Trayvon Martin, Dontre Hamilton, John Crawford, Ezell Ford, Dante Parker, Tanisha Anderson, Akai Gurley, Rumain Brisbon and Jerame Reid. These are just 11 names. These are just 11 people who were unarmed, Black and who were killed by white policemen. These are 11 people whose deaths were put on social media to bring attention to the brutality Black people face. These deaths you have witnessed, are definitely not the worst of the brutality that Black people face.

 

Many people have asked why us, as South Africans, should care about what is happening in America. The answer to that is, just because you are not seeing the cases on the media, does not mean it is not happening. Between 2014 and 2015 there had been 29 892 reported cases of police brutality. Between 2014-2019 there have been 30 000 deaths reported as a result of police brutality. In 2016, there were 159 deaths as a result of police brutality, that were reported. In 2017, that number went up to 207 deaths reported as result of police brutality.

 

Police brutality against Black people and People of Colour has existed for many years. There have been many movies and novels to portray how horrible this situation is. Some of these are: 'Detroit', 'I Am Not Your Negro', 'The Hate U Give', 'If Beale Street Could Talk' and 'Monsters and Men'. These movies and their statistics are proof of how long police brutality has been going on for. There have been many #blacklivesmatter movements throughout the years as a result of the deaths people have witnessed.

 

Black people have been fighting for their lives for generations. In protests, you can see people marching from the ages of toddlers to 80-years-old. One quote that has been going viral states, “I am angry at 31, you are angry at 16, y’all have to find a better way, because we haven’t found it yet.” This shows the significance of how long Black people have been fighting for justice, because, so far, these deaths that you have seen, have just become hashtags. For many years, the hashtag #blacklivesmatter have been going around, but no justice is served yet. 

 

Racism against Black people is not getting worse, these “Karen” videos you have seen are not suddenly escalating, because of the movement and Black people are not dying faster or more because of the movement either. Black deaths are being showed more in the media, because people are filming them more. Racism has always been this bad, the only difference is that it is all getting filmed. The treatment Black people face is being put online, now, more than ever. The racism from white people is being filmed more and more, because more people are starting to see what the problem is. More people are starting to recognise the problem. 

 

Black people are starting to get justice and this movement is just getting started!