Why I Wear This Shirt: Rio


My name is Rio and I am 11 years old and live in Oakland, California. I wear this shirt because it represents what I support and tells a lot about me as a kid. Black lives do matter. Too many black people are being shot for nothing. I don’t want that to happen anymore. As a white kid, I feel safer than my black friends. That’s not fair. If I were walking down the street with Skittles, like Trayvon Martin, I wouldn’t get shot. People would probably just say hi to me.

I also like hearing other people’s opinions and try to spark conversations with them. Once while wearing the shirt, someone said to me, “Don’t all lives matter?” Yes, all lives matter in the big picture, but right now we have to say Black Lives Matter because they are the ones in jeopardy. Like if one finger was broken and you went to the doctor, you’d want the doctor to focus on the broken finger and not keep asking me about the other fingers.

Some parents might shield their kids from these issues, but I think it is important for us to talk. It would be great if more people joined me on Fridays wearing this shirt.


Add yours →

  1. Love you, Rio! Thank you so much for your compassion and bravery. It is truly inspiring.


  2. I feel much the same, Rio. I’m a white, 70 year old woman in Berkeley. I’ll wear my shirt on Fridays, like you. Thanks for posting this.


  3. Sending love from Salt Lake City Rio! Thanks for being such a smart, thoughtful young man!


  4. It take a mighty brave young man to stand for what he believe in… I’m soo proud of you! Thank you!!


  5. Wow, I am crying…I’m wordless…love ad light Rio


  6. Nice rio !! Way to go! You are inspiring us all


  7. Dennis Hamilton Jr. October 13, 2016 — 12:08 am

    Thank you Rio! It is important for us to talk .. and to hear. Peace to you brother!


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