Still fighting.

When will lives matter more than haircuts?

Sickening.

It’s sickening to know that the priorities of the American people seem to be wayward in crucial times like these. 

It seems we prioritize haircuts over lives now. 

Justice for George Floyd. Justice for Breonna. Justice for Ahmaud. Justice for Sean Reed,  EG Bradford Jr, Sandra Bland, Tamir Rice, Treyvon Martin, Eric Garner, Tanisha Anderson, Rekia Boyd, Emmett Till.  Justice. 

That seems to be a common factor lacking from our so-called justice system. Where would these young black men and women be if not for the frustrated cries of protesting minority communities?

George Floyd was arrested on Monday for forgery by Officers Derek Chauvin and Tou Thao. Not even two hours later he would be pronounced dead. When George resisted arrest Chauvin threw him to the ground and put him in handcuffs. This man’s arrest should have ended there, but it didn’t. Chauvin then kneeled on Floyd’s neck as he shouted in pain and yelled, “I cannot breathe.” “Please don’t kill me” “Please I can’t breathe. My stomach hurts. My neck hurts. Everything hurts. They are going to kill me.” Floyd was unarmed.

George Floyd was then taken by an ambulance to a nearby hospital where he died not even an hour after arriving. 

This is no longer a theory to dispute between, these are lives. Why should black men and women have to prove to you with their lives that undeniable racism still is prevalent in America?

When armed white protesters raided the streets of Michigan with assault rifles, parliamentary guns, and confederate flags protesting a government-issued stay home order, what were they met with? Encouragement to stay peaceful and a warning from police for brandishing a weapon. No arrests were made. 

What were the protesters fighting for justice of the killing of yet another innocent black man met with? Extreme force, police weapons, and tear gas. 

Are we not seeing a pattern here?

Is it a coincidence extreme force is largely used towards minority groups? When you’re fighting for your freedom to bear arms remember you are not taking into account the minority groups who are killed with nothing but their hands behind their back.

If you are standing by watching this happen you are a part of the problem. 

How are we supposed to feel safe when this is the reality for people of color in America. Racist preconceptions towards minority groups are not something we as Americans are able to think of as a past issue yet.

Police brutality and hate crimes against people of color, specifically black people of color, is not a new issue. Racism is not something someone is born with, hatred as strong as that can only be taught, and it needs to change. 

 The person reading this is most likely a North Allegheny student, and as a student, it’s important to understand the issues outside of our community. Our school is a majority white school so problems and concerns within and surrounding minority groups are not something we are constantly exposed to. The smaller percentage of POC students do exist but accountability and awareness need to be spread especially in communities like ours. It cannot just be minority groups fighting for the lives of the innocent. Your silence is part of the problem.

It’s tempting to feel helpless in circumstances like these but we are anything but helpless. We are the future. We can provide change, opportunity, and justice for minorities in America. Do not let another yet another black brother or sister be killed. Being black is not a crime. Do not ignore this because it makes you uncomfortable. 

If you choose to be neutral in situations of injustice you have chosen the side of the oppressor. -Desmond Tutu”

You have power in your words and actions; please use them.