Does Black Lives Matter? 154 People Later

It was recorded that 154 African Americans were killed by police in 2016 and yesterday was no different. After the tragic loss of Alton Sterling another innocent life was lost in the hands of police brutality. Philando Castile was killed yesterday by a Minnesota police officer after reaching for his wallet to show the officer his license. These recent killings have sparked a new outrage from the black community, relighting the fire that was once burned from the injustice killing of Mike Brown. Once again hashtags flood social media reminding everyone that Black Lives Matter and to take an action for everyone to “say their name”. But when will it end?

When will the senseless acts of violence stop? Many wonder if it ever will. Will the crime of police brutality ever end or will we continue to see more innocent people die because of racism? Racism, at the end of the day, is what is causing these deaths. The stereotype that all black men are thugs or hostile characters gives these police who raise their guns the opportunity to shoot without any sympathy. Showing a mugshot of the victim, trying to justify the shooting by reviling the victim past or saying all lives matter will not stop this trend. Neither will bashing every police officer or blaming every cop for the situations that is happening. What we first need to realize is that these killings are happening because of the racism that hides behind these badges. What needs to be done is police being accountable for the actions that have been happening way to often. What needs to be done is solid communication between the police and the black community.

Not only does the black community must unite but we all must unite. We all must have the hard conversation that has been dreading us all for years. We must have the conversation of race and how it builds a hierarchy in society. Why that affects us all as humans and why that ideology is killing us. Tearing us a part as a society and keeping us from learning about each other. Don’t let time go by before another death happens and we repeat the same cycle of outrage and hashtags. Don’t let another life get cut short before we decide something must be done. It must happen now. It must happen through love and understanding of each other. It must happen through educating and encouraging others to speak up. All lives will matter only when everyone recognize that black lives matter too. Then, we can all live in peace as one.

Article by Keyonna Butler

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