OPINION: what protestors should keep in mind
Since the tragic death of George Floyd, millions of people gathered to the street to protest. It even sparked what is believed to be the biggest movement in American History. It drew record numbers of people around the world to protest In the United States alone, 26 million people in the United States took to the streets to protest while many more supported the movement on social media. Millions of people not only went to protest also donated money and signed petitions. There was an incredible amount of awareness raised for this cause. People saw something related to this movement everywhere they looked. The movement of #BLM has been so widespread that many sports teams, celebrities, and large companies united to fight for the same cause.
But even with all this awareness and the biggest movement in American history, there are still stories of black people facing racism and worse, losing their lives. This brings us to the question: Do the protests, donations, petitions and awareness even work?
Of course, some changes people have been asked for have been granted. The police officers responsible for killing George Floyd have been charged. We can say that those movements have brought some justice to George Floyd. However, justice for Breonna Taylor and Jacob Blake has not been granted. Other calls to end racism have also not been granted. We are currently still fighting for an end to racial discrimination in criminal justice, reform in the educational system, and an end to racial health disparities. The biggest calls yet to be granted are the defunding of the police. But how come nothing has been done even with this massive movement?
Many might think it is just because the government isn’t listening. People think that although the message has reached many people, it hasn’t reached the people who have the power to bring change. However, the truth is that despite government officials with power speaking up in support of the movement, change is challenging to implement. For example, defunding the police, one of the most known solutions to fighting racism. It involves allocating funds from the police to sectors like education and mental health. This is a difficult action to implement because there are still many problems. Many people may forget that polices are still very important and that defunding the police can also bring some negative consequences. Many people also forget that many police officers are not racist and not violent. Just because a few officers made bad choices doesn’t mean all the police officers are like that. The media is underreporting the importance of police officers. There are still many stories where police officers saved lives and helped immensely in difficult situations.
Another example is Breonna Taylor. It is believed that she will never get justice even if she was innocent but still brutally killed. Even if millions of people protested for her and 12 million people signed a petition for her, it is still very difficult to get the officers charged due to the protection from the law they get from doing their job. We will have to change many old laws which will be more difficult than many people believe.
Although it is right to stop racism and ask for important changes for justice, people should still remember to be realistic about what they are asking for. They should just keep in mind that things are difficult to achieve by just raising awareness and signing petitions. This is because the solutions they are asking for are probably more difficult to change then they believe. Sometimes it can be because the government doesn’t care but people must always remember that there are still many people in power that care but cannot do much because of the difficulty the solution demands.