In May 2020 the death of George Floyd during an arrest in Minneapolis reignited the Black Lives Matter movement as people took to the streets across the globe to protest against racial inequality. Five months later and the fight continues to bring awareness and justice for victims of police brutality.
How do we continue to bring awareness to the BLM movement? What can we do in our everyday lives to be conscious of racial inequality? We spoke with Entrepreneur and Content Creator Nicholas Bailey to answer these questions and much more, including ways that we can all contribute to the movement in our everyday lives.
What's your name and profession?
I’m Nicholas Bailey - corporate IT professional, entrepreneur, product designer and content creator. I also run NICKSAYSGO.COM, an all-on-one platform where I share style tips, product reviews, lifestyle photos and more. I consider myself a do-it-aller.
For those who might not understand the BLM movement, can you breakdown why this is such a significant time in our American history?
Black Lives Matter, in my opinion, is the most important and powerful injustice-based movement of our generation. People are fed up and have every right to be. In every aspect of daily life, we’re shown that Black lives do not matter to people in power, to decision-makers and to everyday society. We’re being murdered by the people paid to protect us. We’re getting unjust sentences for minimal crimes. We’re being told to get over things in the past that still affect us to this current day. Black America has never stopped fighting, but things have finally reached a breaking point and now’s the time where lines are drawn, sides are chosen and people have to give us the change we deserve or move out of the way for good. These won’t be the last riots, uproars or marches, but they’re damn sure going down in history as some of the most important.
When it comes to the topic of defunding the police. Can you explain for people what the movement is looking for? It seems to be a concept that gets misinterpreted.
Excellent question. When people hear “defund”, they often mentally replace that with “abolish”. The movement to defund the police stems from governments having insanely large budgets for their police departments, while other areas of the community are slacking. For example, if a city has a budget of 100 million dollars for their police department, but only five million dollars for housing and living quality for its residents, something might want to be done about that. Police are constantly abusing their power and benefits for the wrong side of justice, so let’s utilize those funds in a place where it’ll actually make a difference for everyday citizens.
How do we keep the momentum of the BLM movement going forward?
I think we have to approach this a few ways. First, I think it’s important that we highlight as many individual cases of injustices as we can. It’s easy for certain issues to slip through the cracks of the media, but we have to be diligent and hold every single person responsible for the madness accountable. Second, we have to stay unified and remember what the end goal is. There are going to be many distractions along the way and plenty of people want to see the BLM movement tossed to the side. We’ve gotta stick together and keep going. Last but not least, we have to use our voices. Nobody’s voice is too big or too small when it comes to these matters. Every bit counts. Speak up, speak up, speak up.
What are some things non-Black/POC people can do in their everyday life to help out in their community and beyond?
For the allies out there, make sure you listen to the Black community and really pay attention. Have those tough conversations with friends, coworkers and family members. Not being racist isn’t enough. It takes active effort and action to press forward. It’s going to be uncomfortable, but the evils of the world have never gone away by taking the easy route. There are plenty of orgs who can use both awareness and actual funds - reach out to them. Write and call your local government. This is something that’s so overlooked, but makes such a big difference. Use your platforms to share resources, stories, donation links and more. It all helps.
What are some of your favorite accounts to follow to keep up with information about the BLM movement?
Since I’m local to Richmond, I’m always keeping up with the RVA Mag account. They post all of the updates from local BLM groups, the citywide issues, the protests and even nationwide updates. I think they give everyone great insight on things from a smaller city’s point of view.
When you look to the future, what do you think will emerge from this movement?
Going forward, I don’t think there’s going to be any more room for companies, organizations and individuals who want to play the middle ground. People will have to make decisions on what side of history they want to land on. No more wiggle room, no more excuses - people are only going to be here for change, forward movement and justice.
Do you have a favorite quote or piece of advice you'd like to share?
At the end of the day, love is all we got. Let that be your driving force when fighting for equality, fighting the evils of the world and straight up just making it through your day.