We The People

This is an essay that my friend Rachel wrote that talks about the events that are going on in America. If you want to hear more from Rachel, check out her blog!

We the People

We are all human. Humans have evolved throughout time and have become complex creatures of the earth. We have shaped the earth in correspondence to how this world shaped us. How can we shape a world that is incomprehensible to us? The answer to that question remains a mystery, but all humans on this earth have done it and are continuing to do it. Let this empowering statement inspire you to do more regardless of your race. Not only black history, but human history is now. 

Growing up as a white female in a small town has sheltered me and caused a lack of diversity in my life. Over time I have been exposed to the history of the world and the people that have impacted these changes. Much of this history regards the civil rights movement. I was repeatedly reminded of the terrible things that people have endured simply because of their skin color, and that became ingrained in my head. Although that should never be forgotten, I wish I had learned more about the revolution these people single handedly started and the strength and courage they had. This should be a more widely spread lesson to people of all races because it really shows that anything is possible with perseverance. I am continually amazed at how much the times have changed, and ever since the year 2020 started, I have begun to realize that the times have not stopped changing. 

Racism is not genetic, it is taught. It has and continues to be taught to the younger generation by adults who are supposed to be mature. If we have truly been educated correctly on this topic, then why do these injustices keep recurring? This lack of maturity is exemplified in a video of a black man being physically abused and killed by a cop who is supposed to be protecting ALL American citizens. The fact that it has taken not only this black man, George Floyd, but multiple black people unjustly being killed to call attention to the injustice and corruption in our society today is despicable. This is why I find this movement so important. It is an opportunity for everyone to come together peacefully as one and provoke much needed change. Doing this will spread love in order to heal and grow together in the present and future. 

America is the home of the brave, and to me, the bravest people are the black people in this country. Not only have they had the courage to stand up for what they believe in, but they are the ones constantly fighting for the American dream to be a reality. They have not stopped fighting for their freedom and equality. This is the most inspiring thing to me, and always will be. It shows me that my generation can be the one to change the next and not teach ignorance and fear of expression, but rather accentuate the lesson to be a big person without making others feel small. My goal is to celebrate black history and stand proud together simply as humans. I want the next generation and all the generations after that to see how determined, courageous, and brave black people are. They have defied what white people thought of them in the past and we have them to thank for so many things in our everyday lives. I don’t want to only hope, but I want to be involved in the change that needs to happen. My generation was being taught to live in the shadows and simply go through the motions to achieve the American dream, but that will not make America great again. We the people must come together to create the change that has been long awaited. Instead of fearing the diversity in our world, we must appreciate, respect, and celebrate our differences. Human rights apply to every beautifully unique human. History is not done and neither is the fight to end injustice. 

Take time to remember all of the black lives that have been wrongfully persecuted, recognize your own value and capability as a person, educate yourself and learn from the past in order to grow, and most importantly, stand by one another with love. 

WHO IS CHRISTIAN COOPER?

Christian Cooper, a black man and an avid bird-watcher, was out birding in the Ramble – a section of Central Park full of winding paths and thick greenery – when he sees a dog off its leash. This goes against the Ramble’s rules, so Christian Cooper started to tell the owner (Amy Cooper) off for having her dog off-leash. He told CNN, “that’s important to us birders because we know that dogs won’t be off-leash at all, and we can go there to see the ground-dwelling birds. People spend a lot of money and time planting in those areas as well. Nothing grows in a dog run for a reason.” After the two continued to quarrel, Christian Cooper started filming Amy Cooper.

In the video, Amy Cooper tells Christian Cooper that she is going to call the police. “I’m going to tell them there’s an African American man threatening my life,” she says. Then she tells the police, “There’s a man, African American, he has a bicycle helmet. He is recording me and threatening me and my dog.” While she is saying this, her dog appears to be straining and trying to get free while she tries to restrain it.

After the video was posted, Amy Cooper defended herself by saying “I’m not a racist. I did not mean to harm that man in any way.” Also, Christian Cooper accepted her apology saying, “I think her apology is sincere. I’m not sure that in the apology she recognizes that while she may not be or consider herself a racist, that particular act was definitely racist.”

My take: I do not think that she should be forgiven for her act, to be honest. After this event, she has been fired from her job, and she reports that “her entire life is being destroyed right now.” She was in the wrong and Christian Cooper had not been physical and was not demanding. She should have abided by the park’s rules and had her dog on a leash. If the officers had been similar to other officers who had murdered black people because of false accusations by white people, then Christian Cooper would be murdered. She should not be excused from her act just because of a simple mistake. Without the post going viral, would she have not realized her mistake and kept doing them? She took advantage of a toxic and deadly racial stereotype for an ephemeral gain. She knew what she was doing, as she had forewarned Christian Cooper of her intention, just how dangerous the possible outcome of her lie could have been. I’m going to open the floor for others to respond with their take on this event.

Originally published June 7

RECOGNIZING PRIVILEGE PT. 2

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I have privilege as a white person because I can do all of these things without thinking twice: I can go birding (#ChristianCooper) I can go jogging (#AmaudArbery) I can relax in the comfort of my own home (#BothemSean and #AtatianaJefferson and #BreonnaTaylor) I can ask for help after being in a car crash (#JonathanFerrell and #RenishaMcBride) I can have a cellphone (StephonClark) I can leave a party to get to safety (JordanEdwards) I can play loud music (JordanDavis) I can sell CDs (AltonSterling) I can sleep (AiyanaJones) I can walk from the corner store (MikeBrown) I can play cops and robbers (TamirRice) I can go to church (Charleston9) I can walk home with Skittles (TrayvonMartin) I can hold a hair brush while leaving my own bachelor party (SeanBell) I can party on New Years (OscarGrant) I can get a normal traffic ticket (SandraBland) I can lawfully carry a weapon (PhilandoCastile) I can break down on a public road with car problems (CoreyJones) I can shop at Walmart (JohnCrawford) I can have a disabled vehicle (TerrenceCrutcher) I can read a book in my own car (KeithScott) I can be a 10yr old walking with our grandfather (#CliffordGlover) I can decorate for a party (#ClaudeReese) I can ask a cop a question (#RandyEvans) I can cash a check in peace (#YvonneSmallwood) I can take out my wallet (#AmadouDiallo) I can run (#WalterScott) I can breathe (#EricGarner) I can live (#FreddieGray) I CAN BE ARRESTED WITHOUT THE FEAR OF BEING MURDERED (#GeorgeFloyd) White privilege is real. Take a minute to consider a Black person’s experience today. #BlackLivesMatter *I copied and pasted this; please do the same.* We must fight for justice. NOW. Reposted from @tyfrench ❤️

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