To be someone who is so passionate about race relations, I have actually been fortunate enough to not have dealt with what people think of when you say the word racism. Many people get what it is in our modern-day America confused. Racism is a system of disadvantage based on race. Minorities are already put at a disadvantage when it comes to getting a quality education or a well-paying job. In simpler terms, racism is prejudice plus power. Me being a person of color, I cannot be racist towards anyone because I do not have the power to put someone at a disadvantage. We were all there when the #BlackLivesMatter movement started when a 17-year-old boy, Trayvon Martin, was fatally shot by George Zimmerman, a neighborhood watch volunteer. ‘Black Lives Matter’ is “a call to action and a response to the virulent anti-Black racism that permeates in our society.”(blacklivesmatter.com) It is not an anti-White terrorist organization or an organization that promotes Black supremacy. They do not condone or stand behind anyone who commits an act of violence in the name of #BlackLivesMatter. A common misconception is that the name suggests no other race that matters. It is only to explain that Black lives are being targeted so until Black lives start to matter to everyone, how can all lives possibly matter?
People are constantly trying to silence Black people who are standing with the movement, speaking out, advocating, etc. Even in these modern days, it is wrong to try to escape the wrongdoing you may be dealing with. From my own experience I have noticed that uttering a word about racism will make someone receive a lot of backlash from white people. You don’t even have to include “white people” in whatever you are trying to say. I will never understand why the are automatically on the defensive. Me personally, I do not get offended when people mention the problems within the Black community. For instance, if someone mentions black-on-black crime, I do not get upset because I know it is prevalent but I am not a part of that. The only time it is offensive is when it is used in a way meant to downplay Black people being killed unjustly. It should be the same with people who are white. If you don’t use racial slurs, discriminate, etc., why be upset? Advocating equal rights should not upset someone who is in favor of equal rights. Talking about the issues in America is not helping divide us. Change will not come if we do not speak out about it.