The protest lasted throughout the evening, with demonstrators clad in face masks and holding signs demanding for justice, myself standing with a sign that read #BlackLivesMatter.

The sign exemplified everything I’ve felt for years, watching and reading about countless black people dying at the hands of police officers or non-black people because of their race.

This was my first ever protest, and while I’m happy I was able to join in with so many Omahans advocating for the same cause, it still made me stop and think, “We all shouldn’t be here.”

We shouldn’t have to be out protesting for basic human rights.

As a bit of a backstory, I am half black and white and was raised by my white mother. I grew up only knowing my white family. I didn’t experience the amount of racism as someone who is fully black.

Despite being raised in a white family, having privilege as a mixed person and having never met my father’s side of the family, it has still always been my goal to stand up and fight for the rights of black people.

The #BlackLivesMatter movement has been imperative to me ever since it started in 2013.

Some individuals seem to not understand the movement, and assume it’s disregarding other races’ lives, though that’s certainly not the case.

The movement emphasizes that black lives matter because black people are being arrested, assaulted and killed for being black. Their lives should always matter simply because they’re human beings.

I wish I didn’t have to go out and protest the death of another black person. I wish I didn’t have to be glued to my phone wondering if the country was going to acknowledge its terrible racism prevalent to this day. I wish I didn’t have to fear my siblings driving alone or being alone at a store.

I wish I didn’t have to worry about my nephews and niece growing up in a world where people will hate them simply because their race.

#BlackLivesMatter will always be an important cause. If people still don’t understand the movement, it’s not hard to listen to get educated.

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