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Truth be told — I’m the epitome of a sideline revolutionary. I make many bombastic statements online and in conversation but my Jordan’s aren’t on the ground and in the marches. I’m sitting on the sideline of history and watching the power of social media unfold into real world discussions and hopefully solutions. In Trump’s America, the screams must become louder that we and all minorities matter. BlackLivesMatter should transcend hashtags and become political agents. Conservatives mostly treat us a monolithic crime ridden community that needs to be extinguished from the planet and Democrats view us as a walking bank for there political contributions (i.e votes because collectively we don’t have wealth) to keep them in what little power they have left. Black’s in America are finding themselves in this political limbo that middle class uneducated whites found themselves in the beginning of the Obama years. The main difference is their limbo was self-imposed due to the systematic fail safes that is in American society. Enter #BlackLivesMatter. After the death of Trayvon Martin a viral hashtag created by Alicia Garza, Opal Tometti, and Patrise Cullors moved people to action. Any discussion about #BLM that does not begin with those women is not an honest discussion about #BLM.

What is Black Lives Matter really? I think it’s best for them to explain it in their own words

The problem with the above is that they never got enough of an opportunity to tell that story. Now there could be many reasons for that — the viral rise of the movement, the media butchering the message, and even to the detriment of BLM, not having a centralized/standard voice for the movement which lent itself to interpretation.

This is why #BLM is not the political force the Tea Party was when the political climate shifted. Unfortunately, they played a lot of defense early on by responding to negative stories in the conservative media. They allowed their movement to be co-opted by police officers and out of touch color blind whites with Blue/All Lives matter ‘movements’. The interesting thing about those ‘movements’ is that is exactly what America is built upon stealing/co-opting a black struggle — change it, make palatable for whites and immediately disregard said struggle which birthed it.

There is even confusion between what is a legitimate chapter of BLM which continues to add to the confusion.

The question always is always asked ‘what can I do?” From an outsider’s observation — there’s a lot you can do. One major thing is try to find your local BLM chapter and engage with them. Create a plan for yourself/family in what’s the best way to get involved. Ask people who are on the ground what their needs are.

Before you assume #BLM is just an excuse for black people to physically and emotionally beat on white people (oh the horror) understand that is not what BLM stands for. BLM is a voice for black  and other marginalized populations — not the voice — but a voice. It’s a voice that is severely needed. There is a need to figure out a way to move the energy from demonstrations to political capital. The first round of mid-terms is coming up in under 2 years. They need to continue to have the image of BLM evolve so that true political allies can evoke their name publicly and align with the visions. Black Lives Matter should be meeting with political operatives to increase their political voice to influence change. Start locally — one school board at a time, one sheriff’s race at a time. As a people, we should be more than picket signs, marches and RIP hashtags.