Right now, we’re past meaningless performative acts that “raise awareness” on the issue. The reason these acts are meaningless is because the constant injustices perpetrated against Black people are currently the topic of discussion in America. In a few months, when this issue isn’t “trending” anymore, that is time to keep the discussion going. Right now, however … right now is the time to discuss ways to tangibly change the institutions in America. Right now is the time to discuss how we can overhaul policing agencies to stop the over-policing and subsequent disproportionate brutality against Black people and other people of color. Right now we need to discuss how we can change the judicial system that delivers harsher sentences to Black people and other people of color. Right now we need to discuss how we can change disenfranchisement of reformed ex-convicts.
Right now we need to discuss how to overhaul the U.S. education system that whitewashes history and leaves people without understanding the true history of this country. Right now we need to discuss how to provide kids in low-income areas the resources they need to advance their education in the same way that kids in wealthy schools are able to. Right now we need to be discussing how to overhaul the standardized testing methods that put many Black Americans and other people of color at a disadvantage due to the fact that they don’t have the same tutoring accessibility as a majority of their white counterparts.
Right now we need to be discussing how to create economic opportunities for people in the hood so the kid whose dad was arrested decades ago during the “War on Drugs” doesn’t have to turn to the streets because he has no other options. Right now we need to be discussing how to change how banks operate, so there is no disadvantage to being a Black person when taking out a loan to buy a house or start a business. Right now is the time to discuss the health care system that currently allows Black women and their children to die at disproportionately high rates.
Right now is the time to discuss how to negate the advantages that white people have held for over 400 years due to slavery. As much as it annoys me, the reality is that Black Lives Matter to the majority of people only after a despicable act of police brutality. The thing is, there are despicable acts of injustice that Black people face every day that aren’t as visible.
America was built without the consideration of Black people and many of the systems in this country are designed to oppress Black people and other people of color. While this issue is trending, we need to be creating dialogue on ways of reform and sharing information on all the ways that the system is holding Black people down. We all know by now who is down for the cause and who isn’t. Now is the time to move a step further and figure out how to make a tangible change in America.
Hunter Reynolds is a senior football player in the College of Literature, Science & the Arts and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.