On May 31st, 2020 I was able to attend my first protest. I am so glad I was able to stand with thousands of people who were all there for the same reason. We want police brutality to come to an end, and that all the victims of police brutality receive the justice they deserve.
I knew I would regret not attending for the rest of my life. The Black Lives Matter movement is something I believe in strongly. I am white, I am privileged, but I refuse to be neutral in situations of injustice.
The art of protest has played a huge role in this country’s progression. Americans throughout history have never stayed silent for injustices. These efforts begin with one step - the decision to step out onto the streets and stand with their fellow Americans.
Although my experience cannot summarize the entirety of the countries, nor other Lexington protestors, I would like to share my experience for anyone who wants to take the next step on the road to equality and is willing to listen.
“If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor,” said Desmond Tutu.
I couldn’t agree with this anymore, so that’s what I wrote on my sign for the protest. I have posted about this movement and old pictures from the 60s protest, it’s kinda strange that is the way of speaking up our generation. You know?
We post stuff on Instagram which I think is great, but before social media, people would be in the flesh marching with each other. I personally believe that just posting on social media is not enough, so I decided to protest.
To each their own, and I understand we are living in a pandemic right now, but I and many others put our masks on and gathered to stand up for the oppressed.
2020 will be in the history books, no doubt, not for great and beautiful moments but profound moments.
I believe there are silver linings in everything, including these outrageous and disgusting injustices. All 50 states protested which is amazing and necessary. Lexington’s protest in my eyes was beautiful and powerful - we were one.
Around us stood many cops in their riot
gear, which was intimidating to me at first, and then they kneeled with us. They made our protest feel heard.
Our leaders for the protest could not have done a better job. Their words of encouragement were empowering and they made sure to let everyone know that we are partaking in a peaceful protest. “We want everyone to go home safely,” they kept repeating. I will never forget this night.
I hope we can continue to fight and speak on these injustices, there is still a long long way to go, but all 50 states standing in their streets for the same reason is a start.
Black Lives Matter.