"You're too young to understand", "When you get older, it will all make sense", and "Just be quiet" are far too often told to young adults when expressing their political or activist views. Everyone is entitled to their own opinions and that includes the generation rising and becoming adults. Throughout this text you will read some of these views that have the right to be heard, but are often suppressed. I give to you: Freedom of Speech.
"We shouldn't have to protest for equal right. And if you're sitting there, not doing anything or not holding an opinion. WHY? WHY? It angers and frustrates me because it tells me you don't care for your black brothers and sisters. If you didn't feel a single thing after watching George Floyd being forcefully choked to death, there's something fundamentally wrong with you as a human being and I don't want to associate with you. Sit there for one second and ask yourself why people are protesting right now. We simply want racial justice. Now that doesn't seem like such a hard request, right? Our government and police make it hard. It feels like talking to a wall."
"We have been forced to live our lives with COVID being in the backdrop of everything with no vaccine in sights, this is the longest time that people have had to remain indoors for a while, and people are losing jobs left and right because of how Covid has taken a toll on the economy. This is just in the background of all that is happening. Breonna Taylor was an award winning medic that was killed in her home during a police raid. The raid was at the wrong house, they were told that, and she died anyway. The chief of police has not fired anyone and she has not been served due justice; keep in mind this happened over a month ago and still no one is prosecuted. Ahmaud Arbery was killed while going out on a jog (something that we all do, me especially). He was running through a white neighborhood and was gunned down by men driving a truck to chase after him. It took weeks for any arrests to be made at all, the arrests happened after protesting brought his case to life. Mind you, the media has brought up old media of the victim from two years ago to make justification for KILLING an unarmed black man. Prejudices and racism has surfaced on social media once more with alt-right groups, white supremacists, and just all around racists making vulgar comments about the deceased and have support for the killers of Ahmaud. In NYC, Amy Cooper (white woman) has her dog with her unleashed in a park while Christian Cooper (black man and no relation) was bird watching. He asks her while recording her on video if she could please leash her dog as that is the rule of the park. She proceeds to call 911,lies to them, and tells them that "an African American man is threatening my life" all whilst she strangles her dog with the dog's collar. The video evidence shows that the man was innocent and was doing nothing to her. However, she knew her privilege enough that she knew if she made a call to the police about a black man, that he would get either arrested or quite more possibly killed with no questions asked. Christian Cooper was not arrested, she was, but many online are trying to defend her. And finally we get to George Floyd, the catalyst of all these instances building up. George Floyd was pinned down by three officers after already being handcuffed, two on his legs, one with his knee pressed on his neck and one more standing guard. Derrick Chauvin kneed a neck for over 8 minutes, 2 of those minutes the victim was already deceased, even after he was told that George was no longer breathing nor moving for a long period of time. They arrested George for forgery (the check has now been shown to be very real) and the officer that kneeled on his neck worked with George for 17 years. The police fired the subjects but did not make an arrest. THAT is why there were protests. When you look at Black Lives Matter victims, you often times see the killer getting away with it more times than not, and this was the last straw. The Minnesota protest was completely sad how the media sabotaged it. For one, the protest was extremely peaceful at first, they just wanted Derrick and the other officers arrested. Then undercover police (you can totally look this up by the way and verify it) started the looting and shooting noises to give the on duty police officers an excuse to tear gas the peaceful protesters out of nowhere. Their Target in the area did not want to sell milk to the protesters that just got hit, so they looted that Target. Was it wrong, yes, but necessary, yes. It was not until these protests, that the police finally stepped in and arrested Derrick Chauvin, who by the way traveled to live in Florida the day after he was fired. That is why there is so much anger and protesting going on, yes personal property is a very real thing that are being destroyed, however no change would be made without it. For people to not have to deal with oppression everyday of their lives, for people to not have to live in fear of dying by the hands of the people that are paid to protect them, to have the complete unmitigated gall to think that people across the United States is doing this for nothing is utterly inconsiderate, demeaning, classist and not to mention ignorant. The argument "black on black" crime is an affront; both do not correlate with each other at all. Statistics show that even though white americans do get killed by the police as well, it is 2.5x more likely to happen to black americans. No one is saying white lives, blue lives, or whatever doesn't matter. We're saying black lives are the ones that are in danger the most, so ALL lives cannot even be said to matter, if the black lives cannot be added in there. Many people from school, even teachers and members of the community are being ignorant to that. I'm going to leave with this; if there are 10,000 rattle snakes that have no plan on harming me at all, but 1000 rattle snakes mixed in there with them do, Im not going to trust that the others would protect me from the ones that have vicious intent. I'm going to just close the door on all of those snakes."
"Here's my quote. People need to remember that there are good and bad cops. Just like there are good and bad people. No cop wakes up and says "I'm gonna kill five people today". Saying all cops are bad is just like saying all people are bad and I believe that there are good people. An example of cops being good is that there was an incident at work and I had to call LUPD. The officer kept me and everyone in the building safe. At the end of my shift (midnight), he walked me to my dorm and watched me walk into the building. Another example is that after I lost my uncle, I was outside at night and I was in tears. An officer walked up on his patrol to check on me and we had a conversation. This is after my family had been scorned by Baltimore PD. He was understanding and kind, this officer gave me a hug afterwards and walked me back to my dorm. I know people are angry and trust me I am too, but I'm angry with the individuals and with the CJ system because they weren't tried or they were able to walk. Future CJ majors want to make the world a better and safer place. Please don't bully us because we are scared enough."
"I think people are disgraceful and have no respect for any walk of life or any common day business man the stealing and fires it's all bull sh*t and just not worth it now all of Thoes people are out of jobs witch means they could lose there homes kids have to go away kids go hungry like wtf America"- Kodi Tolley
"All the inspirational quotes in the world haven't been as impactful to me as Maya Angelou's quote: "You can tell a lot about a person by the way (s)he handles these three things: a rainy day, lost luggage, and tangled Christmas tree lights.""- Madeline Westerhoff
"I understand that I don't understand, but I stand ✊🏻✊🏼✊🏽✊🏾✊🏿 #blackouttuesday #blacklivesmatter
I've debated about posting about everything going on. I'm scared I won't say the right thing, or it wouldn't come out in a way for others to understand or in a way it won't offend someone. It has been heavy on my heart, and I want to share my love and support. I've seen injustice, racism, evil, intolerance, and more in this world. It has gone on for way too long. I've been at home talking about how the world is in disarray. There is too much evil taking place with any justice for those affected. I sit and I pray for everyone who has had their life destroyed. I have prayed for reform and justice. Still I pray but I feel it's also time for me to speak up. It's time for us all to speak up and stand with our fellow brothers and sisters. It's time for peace and solidarity. Yes, "all lives matter" but right now our brothers and sisters are being attacked and have been for a long time. It's time to stand up and be with them, to support them, and to help others realize how they have been mistreated. BLACK LIVES MATTER. It's not a time to think about yourself, to think that just because you have been in bad situations that only that matters. There are people in this world who have been scrutinized, attacked, and murdered. And by people we are supposed to trust to protect us. Yes, people of all races are being killed by the corrupt police and aren't getting the right to due process, but it has been an overwhelming amount of people who are black. That is not just people being angry about the cases that have been all over social media. It is a proven statistic. Yes, not all cops are evil and not all would wrongly attack and murder someone, but how have the ones who have done those things been dealt with? This situation needs to be dealt with. We need change. There are things taking place that shouldn't. We need reform and justice for those who's lives have been taken. Again, I understand that I don't understand, but still I stand!" - Erica Brown
"I remember when I was a child learning about segregation in elementary, I was confused and heartbroken to think that anyone could hate another for the color of their skin. I remember feeling gratitude towards those who were part of a movement, I remember thinking, "I'm happy I don't live during a time like that. Now I get to play with my friends on the playground."
I was glad I would never see that side of humanity.
I am saddened that I have to sit here today and think back on that these past few days.
I never imagined I would be a part of a nation where we make excuses for our police who are quick to pull a trigger. Who are quick to take a life when they feel threatened by a person due to the color of their skin.
We lost two beautiful souls at the hands of police brutality and one from a retired officer in just the few months of 2020, that we are aware of.
When I get pulled over, my first fear isn't that I might not make it out of this interaction alive. I don't live in fear that at any point an officer is going to gun me down in my living room for fitting the description of a suspect in question.
I've never once worried that when I'm walking around my neighborhood, I will have officers called for suspicious activity, and then be hunted down and questioned on what my intentions are. This, is why right now, black lives matter.
I've seen a lot of comments lately stating that whites get shot by police too, and no one does anything. People get angry, they pay attention to it for a few days, and then we sweep it under a rug. The officer maybe gets a charge and we move on.
Now we are saying we are through. We will not tolerate this anymore. We will not support a system who leaves officers on the force after he has received penalties for not following regulation in the past. We will not sit quietly as another persons life is lost at the hands of an officer. This will not become the new norm.
As for the rioting and looting. I do not condone violence to solve a violent problem. I, personally choose to be a peaceful person. However, if we take a look in our history books we can see that this is not the first time this has happened.
December 16, 1773, the Boston tea party took place. Samuel Adams les 60 other Sons of Liberty onto boats in the Boston Harbor. Disguised as Native Americans, they threw 92,000 pounds of tea into the water out of frustration. They are in history books for their actions for their country.
November 10, 1898, Wilmington Insurrection.
July 13, 1863, New York Curry Draft Riots.
April 3, 1865, Burned District in Richmond.
March 7, 1965, Bloody Sunday.
This isn't something that's just now happening when people are angered.
Change does not come quietly.
Is it wrong to burn down and steal from business that have spent YEARS saving up for their dream? ABSOLUTELY. Will their insurance sky rocket and become insanely expensive? ABSOLUTELY.
What about the dreams that George Floyd had, that Breonna Taylor had, that Ahmed Aubrey had? They will never get to live out their dreams again. Two wrongs don't make a right, but somethings got to give.
When will there be a reformation in the system? When will other officers start holding other officers accountable for what they do, and speak up when they see something that isn't right? When will we stop justifying murder with looting? Why are we tear gassing, shooting at and blocking peaceful protesters?
When we will stop trying to defend these officers?
Stand up for what is right, and if it makes the people around you uncomfortable or angry, good. Then you know your voice is being heard. Never let them silence you out of "their embarrassment"." - Madison White
"The hardest part about any kind of personal growth is the acknowledgment that it needs to happen. It's so easy for white people as privileged members of society to get defensive when they're confronted with the reality that they benefit from systemic racism. People see it as a personal judgement on them rather than the result of hundreds of years worth of subtle social manipulation. But battling racism or any other kind of oppression does not require us to be perfect, it only requires us to stand up and protect the values we claim to stand for: equality, freedom, liberty, happiness. It requires that we confront bias and prejudice wherever we see it, including in ourselves. I firmly believe that we are witnessing a revolution right now. This is a huge transitional moment not just for Americans, but for the whole world. You can see it in all the global demonstrations for BLM, how people have banded together to say enough is enough. People (and I include myself in this) are finally realizing that for any large-scale substantial change, it takes all of us to stand by each other. The world is changing, and I am profoundly grateful to be even a small part of that change. Please, please, please, educate yourself. Listen, really listen to the POC around you. And don't just listen to respond, listen to /understand/ their lived experiences. Be cognizant if the fact that you will never know what it's like to face the fear and challenges that POC face every day. That doesn't make you a bad person, but it is the result of a society that is unfair to many of its citizens. We will only make progress if we do so hand in hand with each other. " - Emily Hurst
"I want to make this as short and informative as possible. There are a lot of things going on right now in our world. First and foremost, black lives matter. Everyone who knows me knows that I am a heavy advocate for equality all the way around. Right now in America, Black Lives are hurting. We are tired of the oppression we face in our lives every day, tired of the stereotypes, tired of the judgment, tired of the injustice served to our community, tired of the system built against us. If you're Caucasian, this is probably pretty hard for you to comprehend EVEN if you are an ally of the BLM Movement. I will never be able to convey fully to you the amount of stress that is inflicted in the lives of colored individuals of this nation, and I am sure you are tired of hearing "You don't have to worry about being killed by a cop" or "your children won't ever be thrown in cages" but I'm sorry to tell you that those are true statements that outline exactly what "White Privilege" is. It's not that you get a free pass at life, trust me, as someone who was mostly around white people my entire life, I know that there are still a lot of hardships faced by white people who are working class and below and even middle class families have some hard things to deal with; but being unjustly killed, persecuted, framed, detained, deported, assaulted, or racially profiled are not typically on the list for you guys. If you're still not getting my point I STRONGLY encourage you to go watch 13th on Netflix as well as going to prisonpolicy.org and looking at the statistics as well as information on the reform that needs to happen to the American Justice System. Overall on this topic I would like to say thank you to any and everyone who has been vocal about this issue and realizing that we need change in America. It starts with us, We The People. REFORMATION of the system created to oppress people of color is the ONLY way things will get better in our country. A quote to think about that I learned in Social Working 200 while in college: "To the privileged, equality feels like oppression. - OH AND WASH YOUR HANDS AND WEAR FACE MASKS IN PUBLIC LOCATIONS. THEY SUCK AND PEOPLE IN OUR GENERATION DON'T NECESSARILY NEED THEM TO PROTECT US BUT WE CAN BE CARRIERS AND INFECT OTHERS WHO ARE MORE SUSCEPTIBLE THAN US. PLEASE BE CONSIDERATE OF OTHERS."- Kyrra-Mae Hodges
" I definitely support BLM and what happened to George was beyond evil. I wish that people would continue to protest but not destroy everything in their path because it reinforces so many peoples bad judgements (not me) I really think they should be angry as shit for everything but like other people who are racist and stuff it just fuels their hate fire more. I wish everyone would remember to love rather than hate and i wish i could support more." - Dani Carter
"I think amid the protests and the pandemic we need to remember the intrinsic value of human lives. Human lives are precious, unique and irreplaceable; once they're gone then that's it. There's no take-backsies. Life is worth protecting and defending from harm, whether the harm is from police brutality or a virus. Do your part to ensure the safety of your fellow humans – speak out against injustice and violence. Wear your mask and stay home if you feel unwell. Not every action needs to be a grand gesture of solidarity, just do what you can and spread the love."- Scout Guarino