Racism exists in America, in Virginia, in Falls Church City, and in the culture of George Mason High School. But non-black students at Mason are not often forced to confront that racism.
Because of the work of black activists and allies, over the past week and a half, there has been an overwhelming surge of Black Lives Matter social media activism over platforms Mason students frequent such as Instagram, TikTok, and Twitter.
Our feeds are filled with posts mourning the death of George Floyd, and discussing the broader problem of police violence against black Americans. We’re seeing bail and memorial funds, petitions, and information about protests posted on stories.
We’ve also scrolled through posts about books, movies, and podcasts that non-black people can use to learn more about black history, white privilege, and systematic racism. We’ve seen conversations about performative activism and the most helpful ways to be an ally.
There has never been an excuse to dismiss racism – but now more than ever, thanks to social media activism, we are being confronted by the racism ingrained in American communities like ours, and we cannot ignore it.
The resources are available to us to get educated about black experiences, to support marginalized communities, and to be better allies. All we have to do is open our phones.
The posts aren’t the entire discussion – they are the start of it. Now is the time for non-black students to have hard conversations with their friends and family, and to either begin or continue doing what they can to oppose racism. The actions we take should outlast a twenty-four hour Instagram story. They need to live on in our behavior, meaningful legislation, re-education, and sustainable systemic change.
The Lasso believes that black lives matter, and that this is a conversation non-black students in Falls Church need to show up to. There is no excuse to push it under the rug.