Opinion: Minorities need to support each other in their movements for equal rights

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Anika Marino

Minorities supporting each other is imperative in the fight for equality.

Generation Z is witness to some of the most critical moments in equal rights history, with the #BlackLivesMatter and #StopAAPIHate movements having significant cultural impacts.

I am not Black, and I am not the target of attacks against Asian Americans. However, I strongly support movements in which minorities are searching for equal rights. In my mind, as a member of the LGBTQ community and a person of color, it would be hypocritical not to support these movements. 

If I am looking for equal rights, why would I not support someone else’s search for equal rights?

To me, minorities must support each other in a world full of oppression. In fact, what we know as the modern movement for LGBTQ rights was started by Black transgender women, such as Marsha P. Johnson. According to CNN, Johnson was one of the people who played a crucial role in the riots at Stonewall Inn and the gay liberation movement. 

Johnson is just one example out of many of how the Black community has supported the LGBTQ community. While police were raiding gay bars in Greenwich Village in the 1960s, the Black community was there to help.

TikToks, Instagram posts, and tweets can blow up a movement very quickly, but members of those movements have to keep it going to see change. For example, it took almost a year to get former police officer Derek Chauvin convicted for a murder caught on camera. Much of the leverage to get Chauvin convicted was through social media and protests, where other minority communities assisted the Black community.

As Black, Asian, and LGBTQ people are being killed, we must support each other. Life isn’t a game of chess where one team wins and the other loses. Having one minority win equal rights doesn’t mean that everyone else loses their rights like #AllLivesMatter supporters seem to believe. They seem to think that saying that Asian lives matter, Black lives matter, or trans lives matter means that suddenly their life doesn’t matter.

Hashtags and trends that state a minority’s life matters mean that currently, society values those lives less than, for example, a straight white man’s. Shouting “Black lives matter” does not mean that your life matters any less if you are not Black; it means that a Black person’s life matters just as much as yours.

Equal rights means exactly what it states: everyone is equal. And if that means a community needs help from other minorities in a similar position, then who am I to deny them any support I can offer? Why should I not support other minorities trying to gain equal rights, whether it relates to their safety or the opportunities they have access to? Continuing to progress equal rights should always be a priority, but gaining rights for one minority over another should never be the goal if it is equality we are searching for.

What kind of person asks for equal rights while simultaneously denying someone else theirs?

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