How does the BLM movement effect local residents?

Jackson Meyer, Reporter

Ever since the death of George Floyd on May 25th of this year, the BLM movement has taken the world by storm and has helped bring awareness to a glaring issue in this country: police brutality and the glaring division in this country. 

The Black Lives Matter movement had first appeared on July 13, 2013, and its goal is to provide a better life for people of color in America, as well as all over the world. The movement took the world by storm on May 25th of this year after the tragic death of George Floyd, who was pulled over after having offered a counterfeit bill at a store. Floyd was dragged out of his car with force and pinned to the ground and was suffocated by officer Derek Chauvin. Chauvin placed his knee on the back of Floyd’s neck for nine minutes which killed Floyd. 

Ever since that incident, there has been few that have been brought to national attention such as the case of Breonna Taylor, who was shot in her home after cops barged in attempting to arrest her boyfriend, as well as Jacob Blake after he was shot numerous times in the back by a cop for reaching for something in his vehicle. The movement has the hearts of many and Americans have heard the pain and are now taking action to try and make this world a safer place for everyone.

Now, of course, this movement has affected many on the national landscape, but it has also affected those locally, even the students at Battle. I was fortunate enough to get three students to talk about how the movement has affected them and some even mentioned potential ideas, as to what steps we need to take to better our community.

Senior Xavier Bryan had this to say about how the movement has affected him. “I would say it’s made me more aware in general. I come from a tiny town in Illinois, so I was pretty sheltered to things of this matter, so being more exposed to it has helped me be more empathetic overall.”

Sophomore Lauren Knight spoke on the movement as well. “The movement affected me especially after I educated myself on it more and more. For instance, I have learned that there is a lot of systemic oppression and the country is extremely divided at the moment. I empathize a lot. I had my mind changed after I realized that the riots were an effort to get voices heard, nobody seemed to be listening.”

Lastly, sophomore Isaya Bitware said this about what the movement has taught him. “The movement has affected me positively by seeing people stand up for our black community rights because we need to see a change in our community. The main thing that was brought to my attention is we need police reform. Police need to stop approaching people with the hand on the gun, all that does is strike fear into young men and women. I feel like the police are now a threat instead of protecting and serving the community. This community needs to band together and stop hating on each other and instead love each other to truly accomplish change.” 

These quotes are powerful and it hits home that we as a community need change and we need to unite and work towards the common goal of living a better life. We must do whatever we can to make a positive impact, by donating towards organizations, letting our voices be heard, and getting out to vote.