Samiha: Okay, our first question is, what is Black Lives Matter, and what change does it advocate for?
Maia: I’d say Black Lives Matter is, not only a movement, but it also is a call for the end of racial injustice throughout our systems. It started with the fact that the police force needs change because they are coming from a racist system. But, now, so far, it’s grown into not using racial slurs, fighting climate change in areas of poverty, and educating other people that do not see the effects of corrupt systems on how they can make changes so black lives can be equal to other lives.
Samiha: Exactly! It is a call to end racial discrimination and bias. With the use of voices, we can educate others to work towards a better future.
Maia: I feel like this is a really great time for exposure and education because we have seen so much change in our media about exposing different companies, exposing the police system, and exposing just different forms of racism. We’re not only seeing that, but we are actually clicking on it, we’re looking at it, we’re re-sharing it, and we’re educating our friends. Let’s say there is a random store that is racist, we look that up and we start fact-checking and we learn how to learn about things that we might’ve not known before.
Sam: I agree with Maia that it started with police brutality and injustice in the criminal justice system, but now it’s gone a lot to education. I think that’s really important because people need to understand from a young age why they should care even when it doesn’t personally affect them. It affects people in their community, their friends, and their family. You know, very young kids are impressionable, so if teachers and adults around them are talking about this and saying that “This is something you need to care about,” then I think they will. That’s really important since, as generations go on, we need to just keep on getting more justice and getting more people to care about this because that’s the only way we’re going to have systemic change.
Lydia: Yeah, and I think not only people are educating themselves, but they’re also holding people accountable. Whether that be through protesting, calling people out, not shopping from a certain company, or just not doing whatever they were doing before that could’ve added more to the problem.
Maia: I also feel like our tone and our style of how we go at things has changed a lot. Ever since the Black Lives Matter movement, Gen Z’s tone has changed so much in arguments. We are now so much stronger. We’ve moved forward. Not only has it educated us on what’s going on in other races and corrupt systems, but we’ve also learned how to have a proper argument, and we’ve gotten really into protesting. I feel like our identity has changed as a generation. We’ve changed into a bunch of young people who want to see a change in the world and we’re actively working towards it. Kids are just stepping up and having different opinions from their parents. Even if your parents aren’t for Black Lives Matter, you still make those changes and you are an advocate for it, and I think that is really cool.
Samiha: Exactly, and I really think our generation is all about breaking the cycle of being closed-minded. We are so open to things, and we have the confidence to stand up for what we believe in. It’s really inspiring to see people of various ages stepping up. It’s a chance for change to happen.
Maia: I’m assuming we were all raised in a pretty open-minded household?
Samiha: On some matters, yes.
Maia: So, your parents have raised you to be open to change. But I feel like, not only are we open-minded, but we are taking ACTION. Which is a word some hold back on. We are taught to think about things, and then do it. We’ve been thinking about these matters for so long that action is being made. This is a really big step because we’ve had all this research, we have the internet, we have all these different things to be educated on. So, we have all these tools. So, we can actually take these actions and put them to use. This is a huge turning point for our systems. When we’re all older, we can go into a political field and make bigger changes as adults. The future will be looking a lot different.
Sam: One thing that is something to think about is that, yes Maia is right, when we become adults, as many of us are going into politics, the political field will change a lot. But can it wait that long? Right now, a lot of politicians are still like 70-year-olds that don’t want change. So, what can we do as people who aren’t even old enough to vote yet? What can we do to influence elections and political leaders to help us so we aren’t stuck in a hole until we’re like 30-35 years old?
Samiha: It’s really about communicating with people that are older than you and that can vote. I know I have been seeing a lot of stuff about kids talking to their parents about the issues in our country and telling them to vote. Just having those conversations with your parents and other family members is very important. Making your thoughts and opinions heard through others is crucial.
Lydia: Just raising awareness or trying to educate people, whether it’s on social media, by protesting, or physically talking to others can be a big part of what we can do before we can vote.
Maia: Not only that but making changes. We talk so much about “Yeah, we are going to have this or that,” and that’s the biggest flaw in our government. We talk about it, but we never do it. We, as a generation, understand that rules that don’t work towards change need to be broken and recreated. As an example, education has caused these protests which have been making changes. It’s a form of not just waiting.