Early Tuesday morning, Alton Sterling, a 37-year old father of 5 was shot in the chest by a police officer outside of convenience store in Baton Rouge, La. Thursday morning, Philando Castile, a black man in Minnesota, was shot and killed in his car “for no apparent reason at all”, according to his girlfriend Diamond Reynolds, witness to the crime. The next day, 5 innocent white Dallas police officers were shot in what some would say was revenge for the earlier shootings. Right here in Atlanta’s Piedmont park, a gay black man named London Jermaine was found hanging right after the KKK was seen handing out fliers- the incident was ruled a suicide without any investigation. In another city far away, a mother kills her own children as revenge for her husband so he could “suffer every day”. Meanwhile, a father leaves his daughter in the car and forgets about her until it’s too late, and another innocent life is lost.

These are only 12 of the countless meaningless deaths which have occurred in our country, just in this past week alone. 49 others were shot just last month in a mass shooting in a gay nightclub in Orlando. In fact, 532 people have been reported murdered by the police so far in 2016….and it is only July. Every morning when I wake up, I wonder what horrible, senseless, horrific act the world will wake up to. Another bombing outside a mosque where hundreds are left injured or dead? Was it another psycho who committed a mass shooting in the name of religion or revenge? Or will be another injustice towards a woman or person of color or Muslim or other minority? There hasn’t been even a single day in the past few months without hearing about an official government murder, whether it be cops in the streets, in the form of televised capital punishment, or during war in other parts of the world. Not a single day.

There is an uncontrollable anger, a boiling rage inside of me that I am not quite sure how to express. Not only are there enough problems leading to deaths such as poverty, natural disasters, accidents or illness, but our fellow human beings turning against each other and seeing nothing wrong with it. And even if one person does happen to show compassion or empathy for one negative event, they receive backlash for not focusing on some other problem that is seemingly “more important”. Every life matters and every problem that leads to the losing of an innocent life is most important, direct or indirect. All lives cannot matter until black lives matter. But just because something terrible doesn’t compare to the horrors of another tragedy, doesn’t mean that is not worthy of our attention.

It blows my mind that we are living in a society in which people can record blatant wrongful murder being committed by armed government officials and still see no change. I can’t believe we live in a day and age where a child can stand in front of the media and cry for his father who was just brutally murdered, for reasons that go forever unknown, and still continue on as if nothing happened. I will never understand how someone can think that killing 5 random cops in one city will change what happened with 2 other cops in 2 other cities. People are being murdered just for being a person of color, or their religion, or their career, or their gender, and still, nothing ever changes.

But there is nothing to do but be the change you wish to see in the world. Educate yourself on the current events happening in our government and around the world, and then do something about it. If you feel helpless like you can’t do anything, then just do good and be kind- smile at a stranger, encourage your family and friends, listen to your troubled neighbor and share in your coworkers joys. When this world is so dark, even one small light makes a huge difference. Don’t become the darkness, because all that does is bring more darkness. Instead, bring the light and shine it even in the hard places. Do it all the time, because this is not a fad. In just one week, social media has gone from #blacklivesmatter to chasing #pokemon…but the real problems are still there until we stand together, talk about the hard things, realize that #alllivesmatter, and keep trying hard everyday to be the change.

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