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United Against Racism: Tobi Adewole

By Tobi Adewole, 08/05/20, 11:30AM CDT

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Public executions should not be the catalyst we need for change or action – an honest and good heart should be. Education starts as a kid learning our history of slavery and oppression and Jim Crow era to create more empathy and understanding at an early age. Education isn’t just sharing a post, it’s standing up for us when we’re not in the room! I think that’s another big thing right now. Are you saying something to your family and friends for us when we aren’t around? It’s ok to have different views and it’s just a debate, but that’s what it’s going to take to change the majority’s views. Standing up for us in every way.

 

We need to change the community. We need to show people how bad it’s been for us for decades in the hoods with poor housing, food deserts, poor health care, corner stores everywhere but no healthy options. That’s the start of the problem. How can we focus on school if we can’t eat at home and worry about the struggles every day at home? We need to educate the majority on how real it is and fix it. It needs to change!

 

It’s hard to succeed when you are set up for failure. In almost every way we need to change the system. Of course, the school to prison pipeline is disgusting and needs to change. But that also starts with poor education and nutrition at home.
 

WHAT DOES “BLACK LIVES MATTER” MEAN TO ME?

 

To clarify, “Black Lives Matter” does not mean “Only Black Lives Matter” nor does it mean “Black Lives Matter More.” “Black Lives Matter” is simply a movement for basic human rights and racial equality. “Black Lives Matter” is me not being afraid to wear a hoodie in the store. “Black Lives Matter” is me not fearing for my life every time I see a police officer near me. "Black Lives Matter" means seeing African American history properly and honestly depicted in school. It means sharing our stories and showing our WELL DESERVED place in this world. “Black Lives Matter” is a fight against racism in all shapes and sizes.

 

WHAT CAN WE DO TO INSPIRE CHANGE?

 

To inspire change we must educate the uninformed (even though the information is easily accessible). What is systemic racism? What is institutional racism? If you don’t speak out against racism, that makes you a racist…there is no neutral. The ultimate truth is: a white person in the United States is comfortable living in a racist society because it benefits them and not everyone has that luxury. In order for complete change to occur, the oppressors must understand their privilege and be willing to change. Using the table metaphor, everyone should have the same opportunity and access to sit at the table. However, due to systemic and institutional racism, we [African Americans] do not have that luxury/right. I think it is important for us to create our own spaces or “table” if you will. The system itself must change because a system cannot fail those it was never designed to protect!


Don’t be afraid to ask what you can do. Stand up and speak out!