Yesterday I went to my first Black Lives Matter protest. I was hesitant at first, but my friends convinced me and I am so glad I was able to be apart of something so big. As a member of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc., I plan on being more involved in what is going on in my community. Our motto is “A community-conscious, action-oriented organization” and I plan on exemplifying that more.

I made a lot of observations  while attending the protest in downtown Oakland:

  1. African Americans (and a lot of other people) truly believe that staying at home posting a status on social media is enough to make a change
  2. People would rather yell F%$# the police, than express themselves via speeches and chants
  3. People of different races outnumbered the number of black people in attendance
  4. A lot of people do not care about the issues, they are just followers who want to be seen/ involved

The protest was definitely different than I expected. A lot of “activists” I expected to be there did not attend, and I expected a lot more speeches filled with pain and emotion. However, a majority of the night all I heard was profanity. People were tagging insults about the Oakland Police Department all over the city  (including a huge drawing of a penis on a wall near the police department), and the freeway was shut down due to people walking across.

We really need to look at what is happening and think outside the box. Riots, looting and blocking freeways is not going to foster any change. If anything we are helping the police more because they are putting more cops on duty to “protect” cities. More cops on duty= more money= we are indirectly contributing to their checks.

I am not a huge fan of marches and rallies to be honest. Of course there will be coverage as a result and people get the opportunity to speak their minds, but at the end of the day nothing is being changed! Media coverage will continue, but that has been extensive since Trayvon Martin was killed and what has changed since then? NOTHING. The killings have continued regardless of all the rallies, looting and hashtags. I need people to realize we need BETTER SOLUTIONS.

So here is my list of Black Lives Matter movement DO’s and DONT’s:

  • DO Spread awareness via social media
  • DONT Think this is going to be enough to bring change and make a difference…. it’s not. Go the extra mile

 

  • DO attend rallies and marches to show your support for the movement
  • DONT graffiti buildings, yell profanity, loot and behave as animals

 

  • DO say and believe Black Lives Matter
  • DONT post All Lives Matter. This is a known fact. Black Lives Matter is calling attention to the tragic issues we are currently facing. DONT mock my community

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  • DO get involved in the Black Lives Movement, because you are passionate about the issues of police brutality
  • DONT get involved, because your friends are involved, and you want to be apart of something you truly do not care about

 

  • DO tread lightly when dealing with law enforcement if you end up in a situation
  • DONT act a fool and end up another person that did not deserve to die

 

My friends and I were having a discussion about solutions to this problem. Throughout the conversation the Civil Rights Movement was brought up. My friend brought up a good point… she asked “What did they do? Someone needs to let us know.” I thought long and hard about methods used during the civil rights movement and the solution dawned on me like I previously mentioned in my last blog… boycotts.

Our marching, rallies and social media posts are being ignored. Absolutely NOTHING has changed since the Black Lives Matter Movement commenced after the death of Trayvon Martin. Why? We need to do something that will make a larger impact than just in our individual states… boycott…

If people turn to minimalistic lifestyles and stop spending so much money on irrelevant crap the economy will start to tank again and they will realize that we are serious. More realistically we probably should  use the money we spend on hair, jordans and 2k and invest in some bulletproof vests to wear under our clothes that could hmm idk? SAVE OUR LIVES… but ya’ll don’t hear me though. Ya’ll too busy in line waiting for some Jordan’s at 5am while our people are getting shot for having a “broken tail light” that was in fact not even broken. Our people are getting slaughtering for proclaiming that they have a gun they are LICENSED to carry, our people are being slaughtered for carrying a 99 cent can of Arizona and some Skittles!!!!!!!! I am telling everyone this is the only way that America will take us serious. But until then, no one safe.

Once Rosa Parks refused to leave her seat and the Montgomery Bus Boycott was initiated, the city lost sooo much money. That is when laws begin to change.

It rained that day, but the black community persevered in their boycott. Some rode in carpools, while others traveled in black-operated cabs that charged the same fare as the bus, 10 cents. Most of the remainder of the 40,000 black commuters walked, some as far as 20 miles (32 km).

IT RAINED!!! And people still found alternate ways to travel. There was A FIRE in them that our community lacks. It is easy to show up at a rally and yell F%$^ the police and graffiti a penis on the wall and then go home. But are you willing to think outside the box? Are you willing to take it back to a traditional boycott and boycott all these companies we are slaves too?

Also, social media networks need to boycotted. Although social media is a good platform for discussions and sharing, it still contributes millions of money to the country, Why? The advertisements they bombard us with.  Social media is apart of the consumerism we are slaves too.

So that is my solution everyone. It does not take long for the economy to tank. If everyone refrains from purchasing items that are not necessities and avoids any and all social media usage that will leave an impact! I am confident this is a solution, but everyone would need to be on board and willing to change their lifestyles for however long it takes. Sadly, I know most people aren’t. THAT is why our people will continue to die… a lot of us want to call for change but will not go the extra mile to receive it.