This past Saturday, the board members and some other members of BSU marched in the Homecoming Parade. We wanted to put our name out there and make others aware that we exist. It was a risky move to march in the parade because the vast majority of Decorah is white and not everyone was going to agree with what we stood for. We were aware that not everyone would be happy to see us marching but we did not allow that to keep us from participating in the parade.
As we marched, I became more confident with each step. Some members marching with us had Black Lives Matter written across their shirts. A town member saw that phrase and became very upset. He started yelling at us, saying that all lives matter repeatedly. We ignored him and kept on walking. People assume by saying that Black Lives Matter, we are disregarding the lives of anyone who isn’t black. We say that phrase because black people have a dark and oppressive history that is still very prevalent in today’s society. Black people want to be legitimized. We want our lives to matter and to be taken seriously. For this to happen, we must focus on the lives that are marginalized the most. White folks may feel neglected by this statement, but that is how black Americans feel every single day of their lives.
Despite the one agitated man, I was pleased to see how many people were in support of us marching. We got many individuals applauding in our direction and many shouted in support of us. It restored my faith in humanity and put me in a much better mood. Acts of support go such a long way. I encourage those who want to become more supportive of black Americans to attend BSU meetings. We gather every Wednesday at 7:00 p.m. and we open to all allies and people of color. It might be scary to become more supportive, but it is important in order to better the lives of those less fortunate than you are.