Updated: Jun 4
Written By: Lalo Mata
Published: June 1, 2020
What causes corruption has brought us to resolutions. A tragic death has brought out true colors. 2020 will go down as one of the craziest years in history and it is important as to which side of history you are willing to be a part of.
I have created a platform for myself and know that I receive quite the audience in the topics I write. I try to bring the community together by embracing the differences we have from one another and I try my best to be as helpful as possible to the people of Sacramento. I hope this one reaches my audience in a bigger way. Not to applaud an athlete or find a new social media influencer to follow, but to have a stronger grasp of the rude awakening going on in our nation.
I am an 18-year-old person of color and even though I may not be black, I have gone through moments of my life feeling less than because of the color of my skin. Black lives shouldn’t only matter when it’s convenient because they should matter all the time. The fact that we have to raise awareness for the skin color of a human being goes back many years to problems we should have never had.
I understand the different perspectives when it comes to looting stores and rioting, but we’ve tried a peaceful protest and those were never enough. Sacramento employees were being walked to their cars from buildings near the capitol just a couple weeks ago with people causing hatred and some cities even having guns to police officers’ faces over the fact that they weren’t able to get haircuts and go party with friends. Suddenly when we protest for the life of a fallen human being, we meet the requirement to be tear-gassed. I never read the part where it makes it legal to use tear gas on protestors but illegal as a weapon in war. Cops in LA were actively cornering people in certain locations, Sacramento included. That seems to be a form of pest control. Is that what we are? People who stand for justice and the greater good of our nation are being treated as pests by being cornered and sprayed down by tear gas, pushed and shoved, and even shot in the face with rubber bullets to the point where their head is gushing out blood.
We don’t fear standing up for what’s right; we fear the consequences of our actions that don’t meet the punishment. How is it fair to know that as people of color we are taught at a young age that some people will see us as less than for no reason? We are embedded with fear to monitor how we dress in certain areas, watch the way we talk around a certain crowd, and even fear people who protect us. It’s not a fair way to live. Some people clench their fist in fear and hold their belongings tighter when they see a person of color. Don’t clench your fist in fear of the unknown and what’s different; clench your fist and raise it out of bravery and support the diversity that brings us together.
Stereotypes contribute to a lot of hatred. Not all cops are bad and not all people of color are thugs. One thing that should be clear is that this issue doesn’t involve your beliefs in the left or right side, but requires your knowledge of what is right and what is wrong.
As a 12-year-old kid, I worked on quotes I would say if I ever had a platform like this and it has always stuck with me since then because of how much power it holds. “Dedicate what you do to the people who aren’t here and the people that can’t fight. Make life better for the people who are beside you.” As a 12-year-old, I imagined that would be said in motivation for people to continue dreams and conquer goals, but I am writing to my readers today to let you know that we are the change and we are the ones going into battles that will impact history. Dedicate your life to stand up for what’s right and fight for the people that need to be fought for. Be a part of the change and battle through the struggles of adversity to make life better for the people beside you. The hardships of yesterday are what put us in battles today to see a better tomorrow.
In history, it feels as if “today” has repeated itself over and over again. It’s deja vu. Tomorrow is the light at the end of the tunnel in a never-ending marathon, but we will get there. The endurance to fight for equality will always grow stronger as time goes on. It will only depend on how much longer the people extend the race. Use whatever platform you have to make a change and call people out for turning a blind eye. We will have flashbacks of the crazy year we have lived, but don’t be afraid to enlighten the future youth of the tragic wrongdoings and the brave-hearted upcomings. The heroic actions of protest leaders and the strong-minded followers are the voice screaming for a change.
“You should be peacefully protesting”, is what some people say. I wonder how they felt when Colin Kaepernick did that every Sunday. Sacrificing his career for the better while you sat on your couch and yelled at him. To the ignorant people who say rioting and starting violence won’t solve an issue or bring George Floyd back- why do you support the troops fighting in Afghanistan? Are those going to bring the Twin Towers back? Why is it that we have to forget slavery, but never forget 9/11? Are you the person who is rambling on about riots and looting, but were silent when George Floyd and many others lost their lives?. I know those are very touchy conversations, but we have to have them. Why is your way the only way? Don’t be on the wrong side of history. We need to have these difficult conversations with loved ones in our family, our friend groups, and in the community. Please embrace the difficult and hard conversations.
Be safe and please be smart about the decisions you make. Protests make you feel like your voice is heard and you have power. Please don’t loot local businesses because more often than not, they are major contributors to our community and the last thing they need after being shut down is to get their business stolen from and destroyed. Don’t be the people that riot and loot for no reason and please understand that people who do this are using the protests as an excuse to steal and cause a commotion. Don’t affiliate them with people who are protesting for a strong cause.
As a personal message to a heartfelt post, I want people to know that I support why people are protesting because it’s what we should be doing, but please don’t tear down our city or any others. I don’t wish harm on anyone. I will always fight for what I believe in and what is right. George Floyd’s name won’t go down as a number or statistic. I hope this is a turning point for the greater good and I pray that people will always fight for what is right.
Justice for George Floyd,