Protesting: Making a needed change

Jessye Greene

Let’s pretend for a second, you are a white guy and your friend is a black guy. You walk into the store with your friend and split up to get the snacks for a party quicker. You notice an employee in the store follows your friend’s every move. Then things begin to escalate, and the employee calls the cops to tell them that your friend might be stealing.
The cops come and immediately put your friend on the ground, arrest him with all the force in their bodies. You stand there in shock screaming that he didn’t do anything wrong. They ignore you and your friend’s cry for help as he gasps, “I can’t breathe.” The next time that you see your friend is at his funeral.
Now let’s think, why didn’t the employee follow you? Why didn’t the employee call the cops on you? The only thing that appeared to be different when it came to you and your friend was a different shade of skin color.
Imagine having to live in fear of the police. Aren’t they supposed to be our heroes, the people we call when we are scared or in trouble? Senior, Ibrahem Hussein, is one of many brown males that fear that one day becoming another victim of police brutality.
“I fear that one day the police might take my life. Whenever there is an altercation with an officer and a black or brown person is involved, regardless of their background, I’ve personally seen COPS ALWAYS PUSH THEIR LIMITS AND ABUSE THEIR POWER,” said Hussein.
Not only do black and brown people fear the police and what they’ll do to them, they fear what the police are allowed to do to their friends and families too.
Junior, Autumn Gales, is one of many who fear that one day, one of her black guy friends will be broadcast on the news as another black minority killed by the police.
“My friends could be at the wrong place at the wrong time and automatically have a target on them because of the color of their skin. It’ll break my heart seeing someone I grew up with die by the hands of the police,” said Gales.
Many friends and families of the world feel the same way as Gales. As usual in response to the violence that the police cause, people decide to utilize their first amendment right. They protest, in order to make change and have their voices heard. Protesting for black and brown people abused by the police has been a thing for decades. No one wants to see their loved one on the news represented as another police brutality victim. Gales goes on to say why she feels that the protests and riots began in the first place.
“I feel like the protests are just retaliation to the violence of police brutality over the years. It’s basically like if a person kept poking and poking at you, eventually you are going to retaliate,” said Gales.
Senior, Mya Gantt is another student who believes in the protests surrounding the world, but she does not think that the looting (stealing) is okay.
“I am 100 percent for the protests, however I do not believe in looting stores. In my opinion, looting is not protesting and is honestly unnecessary,” said Gantt. She goes on to say, “Standing up for what you believe in is amazing, but stealing from stores for no reason is unacceptable.”
As the protests proceeded to increase police have been stationed to control crowds and stop the looting. Over time some cops have begun to become excessively aggressive with the protesters. While the other cops have decided to quit in order to join the protest. The question then becomes are all cops really bad? Gantt believes that all cops are not bad, but the bad bunch is ruining their reputation.
“I don’t believe that all cops are bad, some cops have really good intentions. I think what it is, is that the media shows the bad cops more,” said Gantt. She goes on to say, “Plus are good cops actually good if they sit by and allow bad cops to exist around them.”
As more people decide to join the Black Lives Matter protest, it is believed that change will eventually happen. No mother should have to teach her six year old child how to act when a police officer approaches them, all so that they return home in one piece. It is up to this generation to encourage and portray the equality throughout the country that we want. So what are you doing about it?

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