Personal connection leads me to care about ‘Black Lives Matter’


This iis my cousin, Maleka. My cousins are why the Black Lives Matter movement means something to me.

Nathaniel Rudolph, Editorialist

For the person reading, this is not an ordinary editorial. This is not an article about opinions, but the truth. Not a report from the third person, but the first.  

Right now, many actions are being taken around the country to show the inequality for African Americans.  To be honest, I pushed these aside, as it was just an addition to the growing pile of worries I had. And for many of us, this movement has been kept in the background of our lives, showing support in our minds, but never committing to action.  

I know that I can never begin to fathom the pain, the hurting, and the strife, that Black lives in our society have endured. However, as I sat and pondered on this subject, a realization and newfound anger arose. I know some of you reading this will not agree with me or trust my word. Nevertheless, I plead this: look past your biases, the walls you have erected around yourself, and come together, as humans under God, and help me ask the hard questions.

As a white kid, I have never had to deal with the issues African Americans have had to endure the past hundreds of years. Slavery, being sold as though you are an animal, not human, but a thing created by God, not equal to the rest. Discrimination, being treated as a lesser part of society, will never value this world. And fear, the most unjust and painful aspect of this endeavor to condemn African Americans, where people of color have to be afraid to walk the streets of their neighborhood, the grocery store, and even their own home.

These issues… no, unreasonable, irrational, senseless, futile, vain, and unjustified problems, have been prolonged from the dawn of time to the present of today. I feel as though the progress to end this racism and discrimination shouldn’t have to take hundreds of years, but one profound moment where we all come together and realize we are all children under God.

Many people have realized this, including Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther King Jr, and thousands more. They knew racism had infected the blood of America, and that no one person could cure it unless everyone accepted this fact and did something to fix it. And even my family has taken steps to condemn this practice, by showing every person is worth loving.

My family consists of mostly white Americans, but I have two African American cousins, and hearing this story, I am about to tell you, shook my soul’s foundation.

My cousins Geb and Maleka were two African Americans from Ethiopia, where they had to survive in the harsh atmosphere of Africa. They were born into families that could not care for their needs and love them for who they were. For most families in this position, their children would never receive the life they deserved. But with the deep and loving heart of my aunt and uncle. they were able to find homes that offered a sanctuary and foundation to show their true potential to the world. They saw through the color of their skin, and the differences in their looks, and took them as their own and embracing these differences. They only saw hurting and scared children in need of a home. Now they are children that get to have happy lives and live a bright future.

Although during these times of uncertainty and fear, my aunt and uncle have begun to ask the hard questions and prepare my cousins for the looming and nearing danger. They are afraid to let their children walk outside or be anywhere alone. Even though they are white parents, they understand the inequality their children face just because they have different skin.

I spend hours every day in school around people of color – Hispanics, Latinos, and African Americans. I talk to them, collaborate with them, and share ideas. Throughout my life, I have seen a difference between people of color and whites. However, these dissimilarities are not evil; they are just solely different. We all need to notice the discrepancies and embrace the impact they can have on society. When I talk with people of color, their perspectives are different, and I love to hear them share something unique. Their intellect is no different, but their ideas are.  That is okay, as they might flourish into something astounding that will change the world.

I know this isn’t the first time you have heard this speech, but I challenge you not to take this message lightly and push it to the side, but to take action and do your part. We all need to realize that no matter our race, gender, societal status, disability, age, or sexual orientation, we are all in this together, as we face the difficulties of life as one complete and faith bound journey of humanity.