This month’s “Dealing With It” post will discuss the controversial movement, Black Lives Matter. In-depth, we will discuss what it actually stands for, how it may relate to you, how you can participate in the movement, and so much more.
If you are not already aware of the movement’s official website, click here for that link. I will reference several policies and other information listed on the website.
What does the movement stand for?
The movement’s platform stated on the website starts, “Black humanity and dignity requires Black political will and power. Despite constant exploitation and perpetual oppression, Black people have bravely and brilliantly been the driving force pushing the U.S. towards the ideals it articulates but has never achieved. In recent years we have taken to the streets, launched massive campaigns, and impacted elections, but our elected leaders have failed to address the legitimate demands of our Movement. We can no longer wait.” Along with their in-depth explanation of the movement, they provide six different demands: 1)End the war on black people, 2) reparations, 3) invest-divest, 4) economic justice, 5) community control, 6) political power. Each demand has an extensive explanation and policies to implement to go through with that particular demand. I won’t go into depth about each; I will allow you to make your own opinions by doing your own research, but I will say they are very thorough and detailed with supporting research.
How does this actually relate to you?
As a person of color in particular BLACK person, this greatly affects you and your surrounding communities, families, and friends. If you can answer yes to any of the following questions, you are a victim to the false narrative that America has overcome its race issues, and apart from a society that believes that minorities are complaining about issues that are no longer relevant.
- Do you recall being called someone’s “black friend”?
- Do you go to a school that lacks diversity?
- Have any family members who were arrested on a drug charged but are serving a lifetime sentence?
- Have you ever felt like your school lacked the proper funding to better equip the students?
- Do you feel there are flaws in police training that involves targeting black people specifically?
- Do you believe the justice system is flawed in convicting suspects that murder unarmed victims?
- Do you believe policies like “Stop and Fisk” are used to marginalize against and discriminate in black communities?
- Do you believe you didn’t receive a job because you have natural hair?
- Do you live in a state where blacks are still breaking political barriers? (e.g. The first African American Governor)
- Do you still live in a segregated area? (e.g. “The white side of town”, School district zones have been proven to segregate by socioeconomic statuses which naturally causes segregation among races.)
How can you participate in the movement?
The movement is beyond signing up to be a part of a newsletter list. The movement is about being active within your community and implementing these demands by voting for representatives that are like-minded, being knowledgeable about what is going on in your community, and being an active advocate for the change you want to see.
From a political standpoint, there are two apps you can download that make it easier to understand what exactly is going on with federal and state voting. The first app is Countable. “Countable makes it quick and easy to understand the laws Congress is considering. We also streamline the process of contacting your lawmaker, so you can tell them how you want them to vote on bills under consideration.
You can use Countable to:
- Read clear and succinct summaries of upcoming and active legislation.
- Directly tell your lawmakers how to vote on those bills by clicking “Yea” or “Nay”.
- Follow up on how your elected officials voted on bills, so you can hold them accountable in the next election cycle. (Found on Countable)”
The next app is VoteSpotter. VoteSpotter is my favorite out of the two because it plainly states the bills, plans, propositions, etc. that are currently being discussed in Senate and/or Congress and allows you to see how your state representatives are voting for those bills. You are able to agree or disagree with their vote. You also are able to email the representatives from the app to express your concern about the bills that are being discussed.
A lot of people don’t realize how things work politically, and I am still learning the ends and outs of it all. We must be vigilant with who we are electing to represent us. Local elections are VERY important, and I can not stress that enough. Local elections are held and involve candidates who ultimately elect our president (known as the electoral college) and propose and pass bills that affect our daily lives. Get your communities out to vote, and inspire others to run for offices that you could see representing the state you’re in.
All of this is A LOT of work, and it is stressful. I know this. I have been through this, and still, am going through this. I recommend several things to actively help your community and stay sane while doing it.
- Surround yourself with people who feel strongly about social injustices as you do.
- This is important because it helps to have “partners in crime” or someone who can fight for what you fight for. You can always do something yourself, but if you have someone to help you, it’s even better.
- Creating a safe place for you to express yourself with like-minded people.
- Have somewhere you can vent your microaggressions and show that you are not alone in your feelings
- SELF: These are things I try to do to maintain a healthy mindset. The November “Dealing With It” post talks about how taking care of yourself mentally involves:
We must remember, we are who we are. The African American race and we will prevail past all the obstacles this country has against us.
Did this post help you?
Did you learn anything?
Do you have any advice or comments that you want to add?
If so, we would like to know in the comments below!
Thank you for reading, Curls!