The issue of individual and systemic racism and discrimination has always been a highly critical topic, but it seems that in recent years, beginning in 2012 with the high profile case of the death of Trayvon Martin, a young, unarmed African-American male who was shot and killed due to racial profiling, this controversy is now being debated more than ever. With the rise of highly influential activists and leaders such as Alicia Garza, Patrisse Cullors and Opal Tometi who coined the notorious hashtag #BlackLivesMatter, it’s almost inevitable that change is upon us. “I’ve been praying for a moment like this one my entire life.”, says Garza when speaking about how the social media trend has brought so many young activists of all color together.
The beauty of the movement is not only that it gives a voice to African American men who are highly subjected to racial profiling, but it also plays a big role in other types of discrimination such as gender, sexuality, gender identification, etc. The leader and co-founder of the movement herself is an African-American, queer woman which in itself is essentially the most discriminated classification there is. It is already typically known that a white woman makes 76 cents to every dollar her male counterpart makes, but what most are not aware of is that African-American males make 75 cents to every dollar a white male is making. And shockingly, black women make roughly 65 cents to every dollar, that’s a 35 cent margin!
Consequently, if as a society we remove the social and political stigma against black, queer women and unlearn and baptize our minds of racial prejudice, it is possible that equality will be granted to all races, religions, genders, sexual orientations, etc. I, a muslim, Arab-American woman, experience discrimination on a regular basis and am an advocate of the #BlackLivesMatter movement. Though I’m aware that the mission is directed towards black people, the message of equality and ending racism affects me as well. The fact of the matter is, everyone on earth will experience some type of prejudice and by ending it for the group most affected by it, we can end it for all.