During this difficult time, some people seem to be pointing blame and stirring negativity instead of uniting Americans. Checking in with our Black friends can be one positive action that they need during this confusing time.
Watching the news can lead to negative feelings. Headlines run across screens, like “Police officer fired after mocking protestors” or “Man killed who ran over protestors with truck.” Rarely do we see happy, uplifting or inspiring information on the news. Many people have spent their time posting on Instagram and tweeting about discrimination but don’t know how to take real action.
It seems that white people are often scared to step up and say something because they believe that whatever they say will come out wrong. Without the courage to speak up, our country and community will continue to be full of negativity. Students in our community say that speaking out can bring optimism and hope. “It feels like they are able to understand what we’re going through,” junior Jayden Rowe said.
On May 30, Zay Jones, a professional football player, reported on Twitter that while he was walking in Oakland, CA, a woman approached him and said “I am from Minneapolis and you matter to me.” Jones went on to explain that she fell into his arms crying while he described how spreading love was important and also talked about “how grateful he was for the encounter.” He said that this random encounter made his day and helped him realize that there “truly is good in the world.”
However, comments can sometimes sound condescending and confusing. We need to make sure the sentiments we vocalize are genuine. The Black community needs to know that we are with them and care about making a difference. “Sometimes it is confusing because I do not know whether they have my back or if they are just checking in to be ‘nice,’” senior Hubert Bayigamba said.
Being careful and considerate is important in times like these, and always. Speak up and tell your friends that they matter, because that can change someone’s day. While learning information and signing petitions help the BLM movement on a broad scale, checking in with close friends and classmates can also make them feel safer. Personal connections during this time are just as important as change.