No Justice, No Peace: Opinion on the Black Lives Matter movement

Arie Pettway, Writer

In America, whether you’re male or female, to be black is the most dangerous thing to be. From day to day we’re looked at as the main target and threat because of the color of our skin, the clothes we wear, the way we choose to wear our genetic natural tresses, and the way we carry ourselves as individuals. 

Years ago, what we thought had been put to rest has now made its comeback full force and a lot more violent.  What they once tried to keep hidden is now being broadcast for the whole world to see. Black men being targeted, mother’s mourning the loss of their sons due to police brutality, our black communities now taking matters into their own hands and no longer looking for the help of police, senseless murders happening back to back, followed by my people showing bravery for getting out on the streets to protest and march for our voices to be heard. They say that for us this is our new normal, but we refuse to allow it to be. 

Growing up in a single parent home where mom played both roles of mom and Dad everyday isn’t always easy, but somehow mom always made a way to provide for her kids the best way she knew how. 

Even though I’m not a mother myself, I know for other grieving mother’s out there that it’s hard to have to bury your child when it should be the other way around. Watching mothers like Sabrina Fulton, Geneva Veal, Gwen Carr, and Valerie Bell come together to create their own union, a movement called ‘The mothers of the movement,’ for the sake of being the voice for their sons and speaking up to those who try hard to paint their sons and daughters to be criminals is a hard yet positive thing to watch and endure. 

The thing that hurts the most for these mother’s is knowing how senselessly their sons’ lives were taken away from them through the hands of law enforcement. For many days, turned weeks, and now into months the media focuses on the victims and suspects so much that they really never think to sometimes follow up with how the mother and the victims families are coping. 

Too much of the same senseless crime is/has happened back to back to the point that it feels like certain careless cops wanted to normalize watching black grieving mother’s come together to mourn the loss of their black child… Instead they should normalize seeing our black mothers celebrating their black sons and daughters achievements with our names on highschool diplomas, and college degrees instead of us consistently seeing our brothers and sisters names on T- Shirts that read R.I.P. 

Furthermore, To be black in America stepping outside of your house each day is dangerous because you’re automatically a target based on the color of your skin. Back in the day black communities and Neighborhoods was a safe haven for my people to come and go as much as they please with no hesitation. Fast forward to now, it seems as if our communities and neighborhoods are being watched and preyed upon all because the color of our skin seems to be a threat to white cops. 

Just about everyday we’re consistently getting stopped and patted down just because we seem to fit the description of the suspect they’re looking for. We’re constantly getting harassed and mistreated day to day simply because we mind our business and stay in our lane without bothering anybody. 

Kadiatou Diallo’s son, Amadou Diallo was standing right by his apartment building when four police officers approached him and mistook him pulling out his wallet for a gun and fired 41 times with 19 of those bullets hitting him… all for what reason? 

Until other ethnicities have walked a mile in our shoes, I feel like no one will ever know just how sick and tired we are for having to go through the same situation for years now. We’ve marched for years, we’ve protested for years, we’ve held public and secret rallies for years, we’ve cuffed and thrown into jail for standing up for ourselves and for what’s right for years… So when will it be enough for them to finally hear us, and for them to realize that we’re humans too and we all deserve to be treated equally. 

In addition, I watched on many different news channels, and social media apps and saw how so many journalists and news media staff, especially the ones who had their badges on and vests that had huge lettering on it that represented their news station were treated terribly.  

The violence from the police became too much to watch. I’ve never seen so many peaceful protesters get hit with tear gas, giant black rubber bullets, maced, and physically abused by those who we’re supposed to go to for our safety and protection. 

So many people had to be medically seen and taken to the hospital for head injuries, broken bones, etc. All from law enforcement. Seeing this type of behavior happen just about everyday and still is happening really kind of makes you feel hopeless.  What has this world come to? 

It makes you feel like we’re in a huge war with the people versus all law enforcement officials. Every civil rights leader and activist marched for us to express ourselves and let our voices be heard freely so that none of us would have to go through this. But yet, here we are… Every protestor, journalist, and news media staff showed bravery to get up and get out there in the streets from different cities to either work or simply show their support in this movement.

Moreover, In my heart of all hearts, I feel like this nightmare would have never happened had the head person of the police force in multiple cities had done a thorough and complete background on these cops. 

I feel like if their background displayed signs of violence of any kind then they should not be allowed to protect and serve our cities. Like the saying goes, “A leopard never changes its spots.” It doesn’t matter if their crime happened years ago, it happened on account of them committing it. 

I believe if the police force sorted out the bad bunch from the good then Michael Brown wouldn’t have happened, Trayvon Martin, Sandra Bland, Breonna Taylor, Michael Sterling, and so on and so fourth wouldn’t have happened. 

Not just that, but they don’t talk about the senseless crime that the media doesn’t show but still it’s caught on camera.  Black males who became victims of lynching that police either took their time with investigating or when they did they immediately ruled it as suicide without asking any questions.  These innocent, unarmed lives that were senselessly taken would still be here right now living out their life on their own terms. 

This repeated cycle of police claiming that they were afraid for their lives followed by the ones quickly pulling their guns to aim and shoot has got to stop. Until these people know how tired we are of having to bury our loved ones, we will continue to let our voices be heard until Justice is served. 

Lastly, “No Justice, No Peace” , ” Us or else”, “Hands up don’t shoot”. 

As a young black female Journalist in the making, and on behalf of my culture and my black community I speak for all of us when I tell you that we’re tired.  The back to back blatant disrespect they show us on a day to day basis as black women and men has become entirely too much.  

Calling us names, using racial slurs to try to hurt us, on top of trying to physically hurt us.  It’s time to put an end to it all.  

No longer will my sisters and brothers tolerate this mistreatment that’s been happening to us for years.  Knowing the history of what my ancestors has been through, fought against, and overcame for me to never have to go through clearly shows me how my people are strong willed and that whatever challenge you put us up against we’ll gladly accept because you can never punk us nor put us down to ever think we’ll back down from you. 

Understand this, we’ve been fighting for decades for a peace of mind, our freedom to come and go as we please, along with our right to have ownership of what’s rightfully ours.  We didn’t give up when we were burdened down for years, and we’re definitely not giving up or throwing the towel in when obstacles stumble in our way. When God is with us, who can be against us.