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#BLM is about real social change not symbolic excuses

After George Floyd‘s death, people from all over the country have protested against the U.S. justice system. These protests make their message extremely clear: Reform the police and create laws that hold racists and abusers accountable for their hate crimes.

Although this seems fairly simple, it is clear that those in power care more about policing than protection.

In hopes to please protestors, there have been countless “victories”. These victories include painting street murals, having non-Black actors/actresses drop out of their role if they are not Black, and removing racist episodes on streaming services.

However, none of these “changes” are exactly what the protestors are fighting for. By completely ignoring the actual demands of the protestors and skirting around the real issue, it shows how little the government actually cares.

Painting Murals

On June 19th, New York City Mayor, Bill De Blasio, announced the five streets that would be painted and renamed in honor of the Black Lives Matter movement. This mural will be designed along the streets of Centre Street in Manhattan, 153rd street in Queens, Joralemon Street in Brooklyn, Morris Avenue in the Bronx, and Richmond Terrace in Staten Island.

In a June press conference, de Blasio said, “What will be clear — the street name and on the streets of our city — is that message that now this city must fully, fully deeply feel and this nation must as well, that Black Lives Matter.”

He also declared Juneteenth an official city and school holiday.

NYC Governor Andrew Cuomo also stated that Juneteenth will be recognized as a holiday for state employees. Next year, he will introduce legislation to make it an official state holiday.

Actors Stepping Down

Last week, actress Jenny Slate stepped down from her role as Missy in Big Mouth. She informed her followers of the decision via Instagram.

Hulu has taken down Golden Girls

Hulu has taken down an episode of Golden Girls which depicts two white women wearing a brown mud face mask. The women claim they were doing “blackface” but anyone with eyes would be able to tell that was not the case.

The two characters, Betty White and Sue McClanahan wore the beauty mud mask in preparation for a wedding they were to attend later that episode. Although these characters are not purposely wearing blackface, Hulu believes they are showing solidarity by removing this episode.

Twitter users have expressed their annoyance at how people seem to be doing a good job of avoiding what they actually want to happen.

Symbolic victories do not change or reform systems that actively harm Black people. This causes the government to push a narrative that protesters are ungrateful and unsatisfied.

In reality, every “change” as a result of protests is not effective. What is a street sign going to do for Black justice?

As Malcolm X gracefully put it, “The white man will try to satisfy us with symbolic victories rather than economic equity and real justice.”

Protestors will not back down until proper justice can be given to those who have been failed.