PICKART: Current protests exemplify love, justice

Black+Lives+Matter+poster+held+outside+a+car+window+at+a+protest+June+4.+

Black Lives Matter poster held outside a car window at a protest June 4.

The American people must stand for justice — in love, through love and because of love, readier than ever to make change in this city, state and nation.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. expressed that love and power must intertwine in order for justice to prevail in his book “Where Do We Go From Here: Chaos or Community?” 

MLK proclaims: “What is needed is a realization that power without love is reckless and abusive and that love without power is sentimental and anemic. Power at its best is love implementing the demands of justice. Justice at its best is love correcting everything that goes against love.”

Now more than ever this method of justice could not be more true. This demand for justice through love is more important and more relevant than ever for today’s society.

Each individual has the opportunity to participate in the path to justice for individuals who constantly endure discrimination and prejudice.

The Human Rights Campaign, an organization that researches and is an advocate for the LGBTQ community, fighting for their rights, equality and inclusion, cites that in 2019 there were at least 27 deaths of transgender or gender non-conforming individuals by violence. Furthermore, in 2020, HRC has reported 26 deaths in the transgender or gender non-conforming individuals by violence. Most of these individuals are Black transgender women, which highlights the racism embedded in this country. 

Protests occurred in early June after the murder of two Black transgender women, Dominique Fells of Philadelphia and Riah Milton of Cincinnati.

Raquel Woods, a Black transgender activist, said, “I believe in your power. I believe in our power. I believe in black trans power,” as she stood in front of thousands of protestors in New York, encouraging them to continue on the path to justice. Her voice echoed that of MLK, as she united individuals connected different demographics and called all people to action and responsibility.

Shortly after, the Trump’s administration announced its elimination of an Obama-era regulation that prohibited discrimination against transgender individuals in the health care system. When the president abuses his power and leaves love out of his decision processes. His attempt to take away rights of LGBTQ individuals is abusive and cruel. 

Love does not take away the rights of human beings, especially the transgender community, which has been disenfranchised and disregarded for years. Love is not upholding and allowing for violence and discrimination against the transgender community. 

According to a recent report, 93% of all racial justice protests and demonstrations have been peaceful protests since the murder of George Floyd on May 25, 2020. Assumptions and claims, some from Fox News, have stated the Black Lives Matter movement is violent and end in destruction of property. Yet, this report contradicts these assumptions and accusations. In fact, individuals in counter-protests, done by groups from the far left and far right, the report explains, are often the most likely to be armed and assertive with their actions.

However, the protestors of the Black Lives Matter movement connect power with love, through solidarity. Individuals all over the country marched against the racism and injustices that Black transgender women endure, as well as Black, Indigenous, People of Color across the nation. America is at its best when it unites for a cause for the greater good, for all people, through love. 

This disproportionate violence against transgender women of color, as well as anti-LBGTQ legislations, ultimately is  an example of the several different aspects of injustice, prejudice and anti-human rights that plague this country.

Americans must be willing to feel and attempt to understand the denial of basic human rights that individuals across this country experience. 

In each diverse demographic’s fight for justice, equity, equality and equality, there is a love that prevails.

Our goal and purpose as the American people is to find a way to be inclusive, celebratory and unifying of all cultures, backgrounds and identities, to get angry over injustices and to be proactive with power and love.

The life of MLK, his message and his urge for the interrelatedness of power and love, must be celebrated. It is the responsibility of the American people to hold their counterparts to a higher standard. In their personal lives, individuals must strive to join love and power. Moreover, in their public lives, individuals must elect and challenge officials of government to live out MLK’s message and hope for the American society.

Call local officials and demand justice and action against the systemic racism and racial injustices that occur in Milwaukee. Call state representatives and demand that legislations must be created in order to protect the dignity and lives of each individual and person. This November 3, vote for individuals who support the lives of the disenfranchised and underserved, who vow to make change, and hold them accountable.

This story was written by Max Pickart. He can be reached at max.pickart@marquette.edu