When the ball dropped in Times Square on New Year's Eve I thought that 2020 was going to be an awesome year. Supposedly, We were all going to have 20/20 vision. Well, I could not have been more wrong. I honestly could not have imagined all of these terrible disasters happening all in the same year. As the world is slowly recovering from COVID-19, the United States is still battling two diseases. COVID-19 is more prominent than ever and so is systematic racism. Of course, systematic racism is not as new as COVID-19. However, it certainly has continued to spread all throughout the United States.
Living in a pandemic has come full circle for me. At first, I was so extremely anxious about the state of the world. I was constantly scrubbing my hands, coating them in hand sanitizer, and wiping everything down with antibacterial wipes. I was worried about silly things such as if I would get to spend my birthday with family or when I would get the chance to see my long-distance boyfriend again. I wasn't able to sleep at night because I was constantly watching news reels or looking at Apple News.
Looking back on all of that, I am absolutely appalled by my actions. I had the luxury of staying at home and not be worried about financial responsibilities or putting my life in danger. I only feared contracting the disease. I could NOT imagine being a POC (person of color) during this pandemic. Not only do they have to worry about COVID-19, but they wake up everyday not knowing if they will be ridiculed because of their skin tone or culture. I fully recognize my privilege (by being able to stay at home) AND my white privilege. SO many beautiful lives have been lost due to systematic racism here. It is disgusting and appalling that we are still living in a country that will quickly send the National Guard to peaceful protests, but still hasn't taken COVID-19 seriously enough to protect citizens.
Citizens, ESPECIALLY POC citizens, are not put first in this country. It starts with us and we are speaking up! We must keep putting pressure on our local, state, and national governments! Demanding justice is so incredibly important! Ahmuad Arbery, Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, Elijah McClain, AND SO MANY MORE DESERVE JUSTICE! Their killers need to face the consequences of taking innocent lives! We won't stop until they get justice and then some! This amazing civil rights movement can not stop! Elect people who stand up for it and not those that deny it! The system is severely broken, but we have the power to change it!
Register to vote! Email representatives in congress! Email state and local leaders! Sign petitions and donate! Our generation has the power to change the world and we WILL do it. So, it's time to shut up and recognize your white privilege. It's time to start wearing a mask and stop complaining. It's time to stand up for every POC because the so-called "Greatest Country in the World" only seems to be great for white people. Oh by the way, Black Lives Matter is NOT a social media trend. It is a real civil rights movement and no one cares how many likes you got on your black square. Don't drown out the important voices, lift them up.