More Than Just A Phrase – #BlackLivesMatter

Not just a trending hashtag

“Black Lives Matter” to me is more than just a phrase. It’s more than just a hashtag or a trending topic. This is a reality for me and the community of people who look like me. It’s a statement proclaiming that we as the Black community deserve the same rights and liberties of those who have a different skin tone. The statement “Black Lives Matter” doesn’t negate that “all lives matter”. It’s reinforcing that we have just as much of a right as a white person, to be able to leave our homes each day and be able to return home safely. 

America would not be the country it is without the land that was stolen from. The Native Americans with the bodies of Africans who were enslaved and oppressed for years built this country. America was built on minorities and yet they are treated as less than. How does that even make sense? Why would you think this country is so “great” when they take pride in demeaning those citizens who make up the country? How do we praise a country that states “liberty and justice for all” when that statement is just not true. 

It’s mind blowing to me that in 2020 we are still marching and protesting and calling out the systems that were designed for African Americans and other minorities to fail. We are fighting for the right to not be targeted solely for our skin. Is asking for equality, for all regardless of race, too much? How is it fair to be treated so horribly? And that others are celebrating the demise of your ancestors with oppressing symbols. 

What does BLM mean to me?

As a young black woman this phrase means a lot to me. Not just because it descrIbes me, but it describes my brother, my sisters and my nephews. It describes all those across the world who a black. 

Is it so bad to want these systems and departments to be held accountable when they’re in the wrong? Lives are being lost because there are people in this world that are filled with so much hatred for other people based on the color of their skin. Some of these people filled with hatred are in places of authority that prioritise reputation and habit. They take advantage of their positions and harm others on purpose. The sad thing about this entire situation is that they know they can get away with doing these terrible things because they understand how the system works. The system will never work for people of color. We are at a disadvantage because of the color of our skin. How can you see the many injustices done unto the Black community and think “well it’s not my fight so it’s not my problem.”

If you have said this or something along these lines two things.

1) Congratulations. Your privilege is showing. It’s great that you will never experience these hardships but that is not the same case for others.

2) Don’t be ignorant. You are part of the problem. Educate yourself on the realities of what being Black in America means. The excuse of “I was raised this way” or “I’ve never experienced it” is no longer acceptable. We cannot continue to be complacent and ignore the cries for a change. 

Is America truly “great”?

“Black Lives Matter” to me means that our kids will grow up in a place where they don’t feel fear because of their skin color. It means that we can all enjoy following our dreams and not feel that our skin color will prevent opportunities for us. So that we can live by people who don’t look like me and I won’t have to question whether or not they feel uncomfortable around me because I’m Black. It means all the lives lost at the hands of racist people will have received the justice they deserve. So that living in the United States and being treated equally and fairly regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, or our wealth status. That is when we can really say that “America is Great“.

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Janessa-Michelle Purcell

A young adult lifestyle blogger born and raised in Hawai’i and is currently living in Utah. She is pursuing a degree in Political Science with big dreams to contribute to change in the world. Janessa loves to read, laugh and have a good time.