Black out

NOTICE: The views expressed in The Vermilion's opinion pieces do not necessarily reflect those of The Vermilion staff or of the University of Louisiana at Lafayette.

On July 4th through 7th, a movement that has gained widespread publicity is making another stand against racial injustice. The intent is to bolster Black business and bring a sense of solidarity to the community with a singular day devoted to Black-owned businesses, shops and services.

These movements stem from the death of George Floyd, a recorded execution that tugged on the hearts and spirits of anyone who saw or heard about it. After his death, there was outrage, riots, protests and calls for an end to racial injustice and police brutality.

In the swirl of your current news cycle, don't get confused by what I call white-lighting. In a fervent attempt to redirect attention, people will distract you with them by only putting a stop to white people voice acting as a Black person in cartoons or simply say a few words before getting back to their business. This movement isn’t designed for that, it’s designed to address the actual problems within our society, in regards to race, specifically against Black Americans.

Poor education in inner-city schools, gentrification, police brutality, systemic and inherent bias, and racism—these are the things your mind should focus on. I'm a white man myself, so one thing I try to do is rethink how I’ve directed my attention.

Rethink your actions, your parents' and siblings' and relatives' words, your response to racial stimulus and your understanding of the statistics and numbers.

A great example of this is the blackout. Three days devoted to supporting Black businesses and to strike back against large corporations and certain immoral business practices that they’ve adopted.

Economically, it's a wonderful idea and is an excellent service to the community by showing solidarity with the movement, even for those that are more inclined to keep quiet about it.

My advice? Don’t look at the blackout as anti-white, like it’s trying to dampen or hurt white small-business owners. Instead, look at it as augmenting a movement. It's providing a direct, clear and concise form of protest that's peaceful and economically healthy.

it's just showing love to your fellow man or woman in need. When we encounter someone in need, we help them. That is meant to be the American way. Current large corporations have a reputation for oppressive business practices, this event is a way to strike back and gain their attention, to let them know that it can’t continue or a similar event will occur.

Some people mock me for my patriotism, some support me for it, but rarely do I have anyone ask me about it. Patriotism to me is not a difficult topic. It's understanding the core, but ever-evolving, values of a nation. We are America, the land of opportunity, but more than that, we can become the land of equal opportunity.

With simple but effective things like the blackout, we can show the rest of the world that we are not only inclined to help our neighbor but proud of doing so. The values we were founded on had core strength to them, but they were flawed in many ways. They were tied to a turbulent time, but it doesn't mean they lose all merit; it means that we should do as they suggested and revisit them from time to time. Are we the land of freedom? Are we the land of economic growth? I believe we are, but it doesn’t mean that those values extend equally to everyone. We have to adopt more than just those, they can be a bedrock but we have to evolve, we have to change.

Let us become a country of freedom and compassion. Let us become a country of economic growth for everyone. Let us become the country of our forefathers' dreams, except, let's do it better. The best way to put it, I think, is let's truly make America great, by promoting equality and not allowing this injustice to continue.

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