Protests are necessary for change—respect them

Graphic by Anna Arnsberger

Keyla Sejas

As Generation Z, everything we fight for will lay down crucial foundations for the future. With protests sparking up in our city in response to the Black Lives Matter movement, DC’s youth have been expressing a call for political action—and on a greater scale, basic human rights. Dissenters are demanding change in the so-called land of the free, where Black people are still tragically oppressed.
The recent death of an angel named George Floyd spurred massive protests in at least 700 cities in the US and all 50 states. The tragic murder was recorded and publicized for the world to see, and was truly the ice breaker of the lividity built up from decades of the normalization of police brutality.
It is important to understand that now is a time of unity between everyone. Right now we must stand up against an oppressive and abusive system. Our country has gone through protest after protest without seeing much change, but this time it will end differently.
With hundreds alongside each other battling an ongoing pandemic known as police brutality, we cannot stop. The Black community is tired of having to repeat history, they are tired of the constant heartbreak and fear of police overtaking their bodies and souls.
It is crucial to understand that this is a fight between anti-racists and racists. You cannot be neutral in a situation like this. It is never too late to educate yourself, your family, and anyone else. If a young Black child is taught about survival skills for encounters with police, you can learn how to be an ally.
The way people have been protesting has been judged, but understand that materialistic items can and will be replaced, unlike lives lost to racism. There have been rumors spread that protests aren’t peaceful, which is false for the most part, especially since police generally only escalate a situation.
On Friday, June 5th, I went to a sit-in at the National Cathedral, hosted by the National Cathedral School’s BSU which had many speakers. Many were current students, and even graduates and their anger and passion on this matter was powerful. A group of sisters spoke, but what caught the attention of the audience was their accent. The three sisters were Australian and had moved here three years ago, yet they took those three years to learn the American culture and educated themselves, instead of living in ignorance.
These protests and marches aren’t for nothing, this is anger and sadness built from mistreatment and an oppressive government that favors white Americans. The sisters ended their speech with, “it’s never too late to learn.” We have been allowing this for far too long, and we want the next generation to live in peace. •