OPINION: We Need to Keep Fighting for Equality

OPINION%3A+We+Need+to+Keep+Fighting+for+Equality

Bernadette Negron-Taylor, OwlFeed Lifestyle Journalist

People of color (POCs) in America have been discriminated against and hated for hundreds of years. 

This is not something new. This is not the first time lives have been lost because of hatred and sadly won’t be the last, but it needs to be stopped. It can not and should not be made to be something that is seen as normal.

America’s foundation is built off of racism, treating people badly because of their skin color or features they have. Since 1776, America has been viewed as “A White Man’s World”. 

“Go back to where you came from,” a statement said to many people of color. That saying is not only ridiculous but also ignorant because many — no, most — of them are telling other people “to go back where they came from” are not even native to America. America started with immigration. Immigrants came to America and took over, and just called it their land. The United States has the most immigrants than any other country. Over 47 million Americans are immigrants.

We are attacked verbally, mentally, and physically because we look different. In all honestly every reason that is given as to why people of color are treated differently is ridiculous and none of it is excusable.

Within the past two years, citizens have noticed the rates on hate crimes have gone up tremendously. So many teenagers were seeing how bad it gets for the first time, and because of how strong our generation is and how verbal we are, we decided to fight against these injustices. 

So, the protest started back in the summer, then the riots, and the looting, but when it started to go downhill, some people were trying to put the blame of everything that was stolen and destroyed on the BLM protester, but that was not the case. There were so many people all together at the time, some were not protesters. There was a large group, all of the races coming just to loot and cause a ruckus. 

When it comes to social media, people believe that it was better than it was in the early 2000s and 70s-90s, but in reality, it is just now being taken more seriously by more people, which is kind of sad. Don’t get me wrong, it is good news that more people are taking it seriously and more to heart, but the sad part is that it took someone to catch it on video of someone being killed to get everyone to say this is wrong.

And we, as people of color, know that not all caucasians are against us, and we are thankful to have our allies, but there is still a large number of hate crimes. “The FBI’s annual Hate Crime Statistics Act (HCSA) report says there were 7,314 hate crimes last year, up from 7,120 the year before,” according to BBC News. 

“The main problem is people, the ones who are stupid and don’t like people based on someone’s race,” said Kyra Caldwell, AFHS sophomore. “There isn’t really any way to force someone how to think, but, I guess technically that would be the only way.  But also reforming the government and replacing them with people who actually care about everyone on this planet and with people who would overpower those who are the ones causing harm.” 

When you look at it, there aren’t many things that can be done to stop these people who are committing the crime, because the way it is supposed to be done, by the law, is not done to where we are getting justice for the lives lost and those who were injured.

“People who are just reposting things on social media just because it looks cool, literally break my heart because I’d rather you say and do nothing than try to use us as a way to get your views up or get more followers,” said Samantha Russo, a school journalist, who has witnesssed discrimination against people of color. “It pisses me off so much.” 

The effect of seeing that firsthand has made her start to take a stand, and do more — anything in her power to spread awareness for the right reasons.

Russo continued, “I’ve seen people who I care about, love with all my heart, be killed just because a white man didn’t like us because of the way we look or where our ancestors came from. I say ancestors because I was born in America, I am an American, so how are we any different from any of the other White Americans?” 

“I’ve never really been scared to get harassed or hurt because of my race,” said Joshua Hernandez, a said Joshua Hernandez, African American highschool student. “I kind of have a leg up because of how light I am, but the way I looked at all of that changed after my mom had my sister, I would see her get bullied by other kids because she was darker than them. I would sit with her for hours to just try and explain how the world can be like that and is it something we have to get used to and move past it.”  

Hernadez continued, “When I look back at telling her this, I think, we shouldn’t get used to this because we didn’t do anything wrong to be treated like this. We can’t even control what our race is or how our skin looks like. So, later on, I would just look out for her more and try to make sure she was not put in a passion where she had to feel bad because of her skin color, because it hurt me so much to see her cry because she thought she wasn’t good enough.” 

The saddest thing is that some people are so racist that their children learn these things from them and go into the world and treat other children badly because of their skin color. We, people of color and allies, need to come together. We need to keep fighting to get equality, that should have already been there. For us, for our ancestors who fought before us, and for the future generations.