Consciousness has three levels: awakening, reckoning, and realization. It is safe to say that America has been in the second state for quite some time because racial disparity and violence was not a completely new problem nor was racial equality. But through the study and understanding of privilege, many non-people of color find themselves in a new level of awakening because they realized the very everyday things African American people get murdered for: playing in the park, selling cd’s, jogging in the neighborhood, etc. they don’t have to worry about.
New York Times writer Charles Blow writes, “one of the most hopeful and heartening features of the current protests has been the images of people of all races, in this country and around the world, openly supporting anti-racism, carrying Black Lives Matter posters and using more sophisticated language in discussing the matter of state of violence against Black people.” There certainly have been allies before but these are unlike any before. What makes the Black Lives Matter movement stand out from its predecessors is the platform of social media makes racial injustice so real and unavoidable that users sharing the content are not letting this conversation go without action being taken.
This begs the question of what was it that was the tip of the iceberg for non-people of color? Was it the video of George Floyd being murdered by a police officer? Was it the overwhelming realization that this was happening a mile a minute on an everyday basis? Was it the overwhelming realization that the argument of racism being of the past could not be applied because of the explicit documentation on social media? Was it the overwhelming realization that many were in a state of complacency and failed to recognize them being complacent was in fact perpetuating an already flawed system?
The answer is all of the above. That is why these protests continue to happen. That is why the NFL is public acknowledging their wrongdoing in their treatment of Colin Kaepernick during his 2016 protest. The mistreatment of Black people in America has long been the elephant in the room that is left no room for effective communication and problem solving.
With this eruption of consciousness going on, it is safe to say this will no longer be ignored.
Actress, television personality, and activist Amanda Seales recently said in an interview there is an eruption of consciousness in the current chapter of Race in America. Thousands of minds of young and old persons alike of various groups are beginning to have conversations on race like never before.