The Black Lives Matter movement is the most crucial movement of the 21st century. Over the past few weeks, local enthusiasm has died down, but the importance of the cause has not. We’ve already witnessed some change, but black lives are still in danger.
In La Cañada, the first BLM protests had hundreds of people, but the following protests decreased to fifty, thirty, and now to about twenty. People are not recognizing this as an issue anymore due to the ethnic demographics of La Cañada. The racial makeup of La Cañada is sixty-one percent white, thirty percent Asian, nine percent Latino, and zero-point six-percent black, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
LC has an overwhelmingly higher percentage of white people, and a lower percentage of black people compared to the state and county averages. We are failing the black community by not continuing to stand with them for equity. We are failing in our allyship. There is a national conversation going on, and La Canada is shying away from it, instead of uplifting the black voices in the community and the nation.
We need to reimagine what law enforcement looks like. Community safety is important, but are we handling it correctly? We need to press for more implicit bias training in first responders. We need spaces to listen to BIPOC to solve the racial tension in our country. We have created change, but we can do so much more.
Creating conversations around this is one of the most beneficial things we can do. As allies, we can listen. We can have uncomfortable conversations with friends and family members. Conversation can start a path to restore the years of broken laws in a community as seen in South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission.
After apartheid, 2,000 victims told their stories to hold perpetrators accountable for their actions. Perpetrators could ask for amnesty and typically showed great remorse directly to the families of people they had harmed. This gave restorative justice to many victims and families over the years. We can do the same thing here to recompense victims of police brutality and move towards a brighter future.
It might not seem like a local issue, but it is. Sign petitions. Donate to organizations and support black-owned businesses. It is our duty as allies, friends, and peers to give justice to the black community. It is our turn to listen and uplift, so we can progress towards an equitable future.