Riots nationwide, Chaos breaks loose in the streets, looting and violence being broadcasted on every TV screen across America. Black Americans once again protesting for their lives. There is a pandemic in this country, and that Pandemic is racism. Black lives matter. Some would consider BLM a political movement, but are human rights politics? Some will even go as far to call BLM a terrorist group, but how can they be the terrorist when they are the ones being terrorized? BLM seems to be a very controversial topic in America today, but what about wanting to be treated with human dignity is controversial?

With all that this system has done, one thing it has failed to do is protect people of color, but how can a system fail a group of people that it was never made to protect. With the everyday struggles that come with being a black American, one of the most detrimental issues is police brutality. Black Americans can’t even walk at night with a hoodie or they are deemed suspicious. Treyvon Martin was walking home from a convenient store when he had the police called on him. He was unarmed and shot by Stanford police officer George Michael Zimmerman. Black Americans are targeted while doing everyday things, George Floyd was arrested for supposedly using a counterfeit bill, he was detained and had his neck knelt on by officer Derek Chauvin for 8 minutes and 46 seconds. Black Americans are targeted for jogging in their own neighborhood, Ahmad Arbery was followed by multiple white supremacist while jogging and was fatally shot by Travis McMichael. Black Americans are even preyed on in their own home, Breonna Taylor’s home was entered by force by unannounced police officers in search of a suspect who had already been detained, she was fatally shot six times by Jonathan Mattingly, Brett Hankinson, and Myles Cosgrove.

As more Black Americans come to realize society will always view them as “dangerous”. Despite their educational background, upbringing, and their achievements their skin color seems to outweigh it all. In this time of such prejudice, it is so important for black Americans and their allies to stand against discrimination, racism, racial profiling, and police brutality. The main purpose of BLM is to wake this nation up to see the decades of human right violations Black Americans have faced. Changes need to be made, mentalities must change and this must begin in our community. Many BLM protests have taken place in our own community, led by our community’s youth. Many black Americans and their allies united despite race, sexual orientation, and financial background. Our community came together to fight a cause beyond our community. But what is the greater purpose?

I interviewed Pacifica high school student Nichole Lopez-Gonzalez who was recognized by the Oxnard High School board for all her time and effort put into organizing and leading the Black Lives Matter protest in Camarillo . Along with her many moving speeches and poems that highlight the racial conflicts she has faced as a minority, she also held an art auction where all proceeds were donated to black trangender housing in Atlanta Georgia. She has also been a very important part of numerous panels to speak out on police reform, and social justice within the classroom. She is an active advocate for the LGBTQ community and stands out against injustice in our community.

On the Topic of BLM the purpose is confusing to some, Nichole states “Black Lives Matter advocates for social justice and spreads awareness of changes that need to be made in and beyond our community”. Racial discrimination is wide spread and is something all races experience. Whether BLM fights for all racial injustice has been questioned. Nichole clarifies “BLM does touch on all racial injustice, being a part of BLM I have learned it is truly a fight for all minorities and equality to be spread throughout our community.” With all the attention the BLM campaign has received, those against the movement counter protest with the All Lives Matter phrase. Nicholes take on this “All lives are not hung from trees and are being ruled suicides, I take note that going over the hill to play other sports racism is very common and even in our own community we don’t have our eyes open enough to see what is happening to the black community.”

From the BLM protest Nichole has a saying she now stands by “Ordinary people do extraordinary things.” Which is the truth, in our community alone we were able to bring together so much diversity to fight for the same cause. Black Lives Matter!


Photo is from Jeremy Childs/ The Star