The Importance of Using Your Voice to Fight Injustice
Guest Post By Kendall Lanier
In light of the recent lives lost due to police brutality and racial injustice, America has experienced an awakening. The large amount of support through the media and protests for George Floyd and Ahmaud Arbery led to steps of justice to be seeked. However, for the Black woman who lost her life, Breonna Taylor, being shot in her own home by an officer, has not seen any action in her case.
There are many people that say protesting and speaking out won’t make the unjustified killings of Black people come to an end. This may be true, but if so what can you do? Sit back and watch it continue to happen?
If I’ve learned one thing about being a part of Black youth in America, it’s that your voice is the most powerful thing you have.
While one protest or one post on twitter about how tragic the event was may not instantly change the world, it is a start. Sitting back and staying quiet is the worst thing you could do. As human rights activist, Ginetta Sagan said: “Silence in the face of injustice is complicity with the oppressor.”
When I started high school, I didn’t really have an opinion on many social justice issues. Of course, I felt sad and helpless when I heard about the injustices fellow black people suffer daily, but I never really had much to say or contribute when my family had passionate discussions on those topics. It wasn’t until my senior year of high school that I became more conscious of how rampant hate crimes are.
The isolated killings of any black person in America affect all black people.
I realized that although police brutality or hate crimes are not as prolific where I live, they are part of a system of oppression that affects us all. The regularity of these hate crimes makes me think about how easy it is for something like this to happen to my dad, my close male friends, or anyone I know.
The unjustified murders of Black people have become so routine in America. Every few months a killing of a Black person circulates through the news and social media, and that doesn’t even count the ones that go unreported. This is why the power of our voice is so important.
Educating yourself and using your resources to understand how you can be a part of change is so essential. The following three resources share information about how you can do your part to fight injustice
The Community Tool Box:
- This article “Initiating Legal Action” speaks on the importance of pushing people in positions of power to see justice for those who have been wronged. .
- Another impactful way to do your part is to stand as an ally and support those experiencing racial injustice. This article “Learning to be an Ally for People from Diverse Groups and Backgrounds” reflects that perfectly.
Another useful resource with a multitude of ways to take action is Black Lives Matter. Protesting, using social media in positive ways to spread awareness, and speaking up whenever events like the unlawful deaths of Black people occur, helps to bring understanding to people to show that those murders are not something that should ever be seen as regular or normal.
Therefore, staying quiet is disrespectful to the countless victims who have lost their lives for simply being black.
Kendall is the Digital Impact & Communications Intern for Susan G. Komen Kansas & Western Missouri. She is a sophomore journalism major at Howard University. Her role for Komen KSWMO includes producing and managing social media content, writing press releases and blogs, and providing support for other engagement proposals. Connect with Kendall on Linkedin. Follow her blog, The Need To Know.