Rather than ordering the words painted on streets, activists argue, lawmakers should take action to protect Black lives in real time — by enacting the policies that Black organizers have been calling for since before the Floyd protests began. So far, few of those in power are getting the message.
“It’s not enough. What we’re asking for is not, like, a symbolic recognition of how Black lives matter,” said Delilah Pierre, an organizer with the Tallahassee Community Action Committee. The Florida state capital is one of the latest cities to paint the now-familiar yellow-and-black mural across a major intersection. “We’re asking for that to be something that’s in practice. We’re asking for real systemic change to the system that oppresses and marginalizes black people.”
The Black Lives Matter street art, meanwhile, originated more as a way to troll President Donald Trump, who has called Black Lives Matter a “hate group.”