Black Lives Need to Matter Now

The Importance of Justice for African Americans

Image of Breonna Taylor before her murder

On Sep. 23, it was determined by the Jefferson County grand jury that no one was criminally charged or responsible for the killing of Breonna Taylor. This decision would incite more Black Lives Matter protests in a country that struggles to understand the phrase Black Lives Matter.

Portrait Artwork of George Floyd

Black Lives Matter protests surged after the death of African American George Floyd in Minneapolis, Minnesota, on May 25. Floyd bought a pack of cigarettes from Cup Foods, but a store employee believed the $20 bill was counterfeit and called the police to arrest him. Video footage showed that a white police officer, Derek Chauvin, kneeled on Floyds’ neck while he was pinned to the ground.

The video footage showed George Floyd saying multiple times that he could not breathe. Chauvin kneeled on Floyd’s neck for seven minutes and 46 seconds.

Protests Around the World

Protesters in London

George Floyd’s death inspired millions of individuals around the world to protest the injustice of his murder and police brutality. There was this worldwide support of Black Lives Matter. Despite the worldwide support, there are opposers in the United States against the Black Lives Matter movement.

All Lives and Blue Lives Matter

There are Americans that are strongly against the Black Lives Matter movement because they view it as unfair to police officers and other races. These Americans believe that All Lives Matter (referring to all races) and Blue Lives Matter (police officers).

All Lives Matter and Blue Lives Matter are meant to act as counter arguments and protests to the Black Lives Matter movement. These two phrases essentially disregard the years of systemic racism and disenfranchisement of African Americans in the United States.

Supporters of Black Lives Matter constantly argue that the phrase “Black Lives Matter” simply means that black lives matter too. The main and only goal of Black Lives Matter is for African Americans to be equal to White Americans. They are not trying to be above all the other races, they just want equality.

How to Support BLM

Signing petitions, donating to BLM, participating in BLM protests, participating in social media blackout days and creating BLM hashtags are all different ways people show their support for BLM. However, there are others that strive to go above and beyond for BLM.

Image of Ryan Dunston, senior student at Point Park University

BLM Concept Video

Ryan Dunston, an African American senior student at Point Park University, decided that he wanted to go above and beyond for BLM. He decided that he wanted to do a BLM concept video.

Dunston’s BLM concept video involved spoken word written by him, Mount Washington, a cinematographer and seven African American actors. Dunston discussed how he was inspired to write his spoken word used in his concept video because of Breonna Taylor.

Breonna Taylor was a 26-year-old unarmed African American woman that was shot and killed in her own home on March 13, 2020.  She was murdered in her bed by Louisville police officers during a botched raid on her apartment.

Ryan Dunston said, “The fact that a black woman was wrongfully murdered in her own house and bed, but her murderers get to roam free is heartbreaking and disappointing. It just shows that her life does not matter in this country at all. It’s just ridiculous, frustrating and unfair to me.”

Dunston’s goal with his BLM video was to promote positivity and encouragement for African Americans and supporters of BLM. Dunston explains that his video is about African Americans continuing to fight for real change and progress. In addition, the main message in his concept video was “America and Black were never meant to meet.”

After filming and editing his BLM video in August 2020, Dunston was trying to figure out the right time to share his video with the world. Then, the decision and ruling of Louisville police officer Brett Hankison on Sep. 23, 2020, being found not guilty of the murder of Breonna Taylor urged Dunston to release the video the following weekend.  

Ryan Dunston was disappointed in America, and its failure to give Breonna Taylor the justice that she deserved. “Systemic racism is just so engrained in this country, and it just feels like we’re just so far away from progress or even recognition that we’re suffering. We just want to matter, but even that’s too much for people,” Dunston stated.

Dunston released his BLM video on social media platforms on Sep. 30, 2020. He hopes that his video inspires and encourages African Americans to keep fighting and not settling for anything less. African Americans’ voices must be heard.

The Voiceless Needs to be Heard

Silence cannot be an option for the elimination of racism and police brutality in America. Silence is an ally of ignorance, hatred, racism and brutality. Staying silent helps the ignorant and hurts the innocent.

Black lives are in danger and need to matter now in this country. The wrongful deaths of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor illustrate that black lives need to matter now.