Op-Ed: BSU, “We must demand better.”

George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Atatiana Jefferson, Aura Rosser, Stephon Clark, Botham Jean, Philando Castile, Alton Sterling, Michelle Cusseaux, Freddie Gray, Janisha Fonville, Eric Garner, Akai Gurley and Tamir Rice.

These are just a few of the Black lives that have been taken at the hand of police brutality while being unarmed since 2014. As numbers of Black fatalities rise, no one seems to care about how many mothers, fathers, brothers and sisters are being killed with reckless abandon. As for African Americans, the fear and chance of being killed at a police stop have only increased.

Clearly, as a whole population, we are failing to hold accountable the specific law enforcement officers and political officials that have allowed certain racial disparities to go on without proper intervention.

The government has failed to protect Black lives at the same rate as other ethnic groups since the beginning of history. As a result, we get a biased, continuous cycle of Black oppression, incarceration and death. In order to break the links on this chain of wrongful persecution, we must band together and implement new policies, protocols and adjustments to change the way the current population thinks.

Reengineering our thought processes will allow us to accept the contemporary culture and forget the ways of the past. As a nation, we must all take a step toward equality before large-scale oppression can cease.

In order to incite change, we must demand better. We must demand better from first ourselves and then  from those who surround us. It is not enough to not be racist; you must be actively anti-racist to inspire a change of the current narrative in this nation. 

There are current disparities that have been supported by law enforcement in relation to individuals of color since the 19th century. These viewpoints and preconceived notions still remain today and need to be eradicated by the office that supposedly stands “to protect and to serve” the people.

In order to be an agent of change, we must end racial biases and rectify unequal oppression. This motivation should stem outward from ourselves and be infectious toward our friends and family.

As Black Lives Matter protests die down, we cannot forget our goal to achieve equal opportunity and success for Black and other minority groups. Our voices and support will help us initiate new policies and construct a more culturally diverse community for not only Augustana’s campus, but for Sioux Falls alike.

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