Blue Devils Digest
Is the 8 minutes and 46 seconds long enough for you? By Ai Wei Zheng
“Racism is not getting worse, it’s getting filmed,” said American actor, Will Smith. When the footage of George Floyd’s murder was presented to the world, I wasn’t shocked nor was I surprised. It was just another man’s story that could have been buried before it even started. It was another life taken away in just a matter of minutes. This time, the world took notice. The only question is: how many more “I can’t breathe” incidents should there be?
As a child growing up, I remember being taught by my parents to dial 911 for any emergencies. I believe that many of us stay by this as our first source to get protection, however, a great majority can’t. Some of us can’t rely on the police to give us protection because the system is beyond flawed. Instead of saving, some cops are killing. Instead of asking, some are violating. Instead of noticing, some are stereotyping. Instead of listening, some are suffocating. “My opinion on it is that not all cops are bad, but one ruins it for all of them. Police brutality is a big thing in the US and the system is too corrupt to punish the cops that do it,” said Millard Ellis, a student from Kenmore East. That is the system we’re under. A system that hands out an officer's job with a requirement of only needing a high school diploma. It doesn’t require the study of psychology, professional training, or a background check of the person's behavior. All of these factors will influence an officer's “snap- judgment” during a moment in crisis; and with the wrong judgment, another innocent life slips away. Former Minneapolis officer, Derek Chauvin, with his high school diploma received complaints after complaints; but he was still kept in the department. “Not all cops are murderers, but no murderer should be a cop, and the system needs to be reformed to ensure that those who enforce the law are also subject to it,” said Kenmore West student, Savanna Reiss. That is just one case, we’ve had cops who were serial killers, participants in the dark web, and cold-hearted murders. We’ve had innocent lives taken away from us just for the color of their skin.
Racism occurs everywhere, in every group. We can’t stop that, we can’t stop how a person thinks or what they believe in. We can’t stop the hate crimes that will end with kids losing their parents, or mothers losing their child. We can’t change a person’s mind, but we can educate ourselves. “The direction for change starts with knowledge,” said Kenwest student, Leilany Cruz. We can learn how to be empathetic and ask ourselves: Who is the next child to grow up without their parents? Is it you, maybe your son or daughter? Or maybe you're not black and it doesn't really affect you? It doesn’t affect you that a person’s life, as valuable as yours was taken away?? It doesn’t affect you that a child will be forced to grow up without their parents, nor does it affect you that these people have families, friends, and loved ones who will mourn and miss them every day?? They are just like you. The only difference is you are alive, and they are not. “For those saying All lives matter, we get that all lives do matter but if there‘s a fire in a house are they gonna hose down the whole block because every house is equal? No, they’re going to the one that is on fire because that’s the one being harmed, but that doesn’t mean all the other houses are any less important. I don’t think people are understanding that part,” said Kenmore East student, Yolani Ortiz. It’s time we open our eyes to notice the wrong and open our ears to listen to the mourning voices calling for our help.
“I am not black, but I see you.
I am not black, but I hear you.
I am not black, but I mourn with you.
I am not black, but I will fight for you.”
We have taken enough of the black culture for our own entertainment, and it’s time that we respect the people who gave that privilege to us, by using our privileges to support them. “With that being said, I believe that if we all use our voices and come together to spark that change we can have hope for a much brighter future, a greater country and liberty and justice for ALL.” Jada Britton from Kenmore West stated. “I am not black, but I will fight with you.” I hope that one day we will all start at the same starting line, the day where our community will support each other, instead of destroying each other. “I think that our generation can and has to be the change. We’ve spent years learning about our history and how so many groups of people have been oppressed, and it’s our job to learn from our past. It’s our job to improve society and be better than the last generation,” said Kenmore West student, Sabrina Lee. I hope that our generation will come together to fight for what’s right. I hope that our kids will live in a world better than this.
Jay Kinde and Al Hager
Oliver Pitcher ,
Blue Devils Digest
Student Run Newspaper of Kenmore West