In the wake of the unjust deaths of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile, Kim Kardashian wrote an open letter about #BlackLivesMatter, mourning the loss of life, reflecting on what this means for her own children, and encouraging readers to speak up, make change, and contact their legislators. Kardashian, who is married to Kanye West and is the mother of their two half-black children, passionately discussed what implications such police brutality and institutional racism could have own her own children, writing:
I want my children to grow up knowing that their lives matter. I do not ever want to have to teach my son to be scared of the police, or tell him that he has to watch his back because the people we are told to trust—the people who "protect and serve"—may not be protecting and serving him because of the color of his skin.
Seemingly referring to the deaths of five Dallas police officers during a rally in the Texas city on Thursday, Kardashian noted that what we do not need is more violence, but change — institutional change:
The last thing we need is to fuel anger with more hate or violence, especially toward the many incredible police officers who risk their lives every single day to protect our families and communities. We must peacefully use the power of our voices and the strength of our numbers to demand changes in the judicial system so that brutality doesn't ever go unpunished.
It's clear that Kardashian connects with the senseless deaths of Sterling and Castile on a personal level (and how easily this could happen to her own children) but in doing so, it also bridges that gap for many others. What if this were your children? Your neighbor's children? Your kid's best friends? The adorable faces of North and Saint West whom you see on Snapchat every day? Kardashian calls it out — but she doesn't stop there.
In fact, one of the most inspirational parts of her #BlackLivesMatter message is that it goes beyond a hashtag. It goes beyond social media — an important aspect in such a movement, yes, but one that does not make the legislative changes that need to be seen in order for innocent lives to stop being taken.
Kardashian recognizes that real change needs to be made, and she addresses it head on:
It is our responsibility as Americans and as parents to create a safe future for our children. We must do something NOW. We must speak up until we are heard and real, effective changes are made.
Alton Sterling, Philando Castile, Trayvon Martin, Mike Brown, Eric Garner, Freddie Gray, Tamir Rice, Sandra Bland, Sean Bell … and unfortunately so many more.
Hashtags are not enough. This must end now.
At the end of her open letter, Kardashian makes good on her word and immediately shares links to contact legislators and to donate to the families of Sterling and Castile. She uses her platform, one that will undoubtedly see a ton of organic traffic (and even more when picked up by media outlets across the world), to not only include her own voice in the chorus of many others, but to easily provide ways to help make a real change. It's the practical component of her essay, and one that undoubtedly speaks volumes. It's a call-to-action that channels those feelings of anger, of fear, of injustice — and puts them into a plan for action, a plan to make a difference, and a plan to stop this unnecessary violence once and for all.