BLM: More Than Just a Hashtag

Graphic: Chiara Valenzuela

Adults are not the only ones protesting. Millions of teens are taking to the streets to protest and call out issues that our world deals with today. As a nation we are rising up and protesting America’s atrocious police brutality and systemic racism. George Floyd’s death was not for nothing. It sparked a bigger movement, a movement that fights for equality. Black Lives Matter activists are calling to defund the police, remove racist statues, and end racism, all with the help of social media.

Teens furiously protest against social inequality with the help of social media, in an attempt to dismantle the systematic racism in America. Via Instagram, Twitter, and Snapchat, teens have been able to organize protests and raise awareness for the Black Lives Matter movement. They are providing links to bail funds, petitions, and GoFundMe accounts to support families who have lost their loved ones to police brutality. Another way we have been able to see the change made is by contacting members of Congress, Governors, and police chiefs through sending mass emails. Email templates have been created and shared all over social media. You can easily adjust the email template to add your name onto a pre written paragraph so you can make a change in a quick and easy way.

Social Media is filled with information on how teens can help reform the flawed American system. The app Tik Tok, which is traditionally used for sharing dance videos, is now surprisingly a vital source for news. Countless videos have been posted exposing police brutality and unlawful arrests. Protesters utilized the live function on TikTok to give real-time updates on what was happening at the protests. These raw live streams gave viewers the opportunity to see the protests without the bias of the media. In addition to live streams, informational videos such as what to do if you have been tear-gassed, specific numbers to call if you are arrested, and clothing to wear to protect yourself from rubber bullets, fill the home pages of millions of TikTok users.

On June 25 The Democratic-controlled House approved a police reform bill, named the George Floyd Justice Policing Act. The bill was passed exactly a month after George was murdered by police officer, Derek Chauvin. This bill will ban chokeholds and no-knock warrants on federal drug cases, and will establish a national registry of police misconduct, to prevent racist or overaggressive cops from continuing unlawful behavior. President Donald Trump has threatened to veto the bill, and it remains highly unlikely that it could be passed by the Republican-controlled Senate. Even if the bill does not pass the people will not stop fighting. With the help of social media, activists and allies have been able to support the Black Lives Matter movement and continue to share their stories to empower change.

Staff Writer: Abi Baker

Abi is a rising junior at Flint Hill School in Oakton, VA. She passionate about politics, and good music.

Graphics: Chiara Valenzuela

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