I was once told that the decision-makers of our society often hope the public will lose interest in important issues before they are forced to do anything about them.
The devaluation of black life in the U.S. is an issue that is important to many Americans. People of color empathize with the victims of racism and their families. Our white allies see the injustices and stand beside us, hoping to help in our efforts to bring about meaningful change.
Trayvon Martin was a household name for a long time following his murder in 2012 at the hands of George Zimmerman. The public was enraged at Zimmerman’s acquittal in 2013, and Florida’s Stand Your Ground law faced scrutiny as Martin remained a household name for weeks. It wasn’t long, though, before Martin’s name got lost in the shuffle.
People returned to their ordinary lives: class, work, civic organizations or family; all institutions more familiar and salient to them than the devaluation of black life in America. The fire that had so passionately burned for social justice is reduced to embers unless a new incident becomes a prodder and pokes at the coals. (Independent Florida Alligator)