This Is Not a Time to Be Silent

The opinions expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent the views of The Prowler.

In honor of the many Black Americans killed due to police brutality, I’m writing this story to spread awareness and to remember them. 

According to Encyclopedia Britannica, police brutality is defined as “the unwanted or excessive and often illegal use of force against civilians by U.S. police officers.”

Many groups face discrimination from the police, including immigrants, Jews, Mexicans, and the transgender and LGBTQ+ community. But the Black community receives the most discrimination from the police force. This has been going on for hundreds of years and enough is enough already. Forming acts of hate against someone due to the color of their skin is immoral and unbelievable, especially when it comes from people who are supposed to protect us. 

Racism is a topic I feel very strongly about, and I can’t imagine what Black people go through, so I feel the need to stand with them and use my voice to help make a change. We have seen the police kill, yell racial slurs, sexually assault, and unlawfully arrest people of color.  In response, activists have led protests all across the globe. 

The Black Lives Matter movement was created in 2013 by Alicia Garza, Patrisse Cullors, and Opal Tometi to fight against this outraging issue. It was created due to the death of Trayvon Martin, who was shot walking to a friend’s house in 2012. 

I can sit here and write a hundred names of people killed by the police because, to them, it’s a crime to be Black. On May 25 this year, George Floyd was killed by an officer kneeling on his neck for 9 minutes. He repeatedly said “I can’t breathe,” but the officer Derek Chauvin did not move.  Floyd was killed for allegedly using a counterfeit bill, but, in reality, it was due to racism. 

Many protests occurred after the death of George Floyd,  not only in America but around the world. The meaning behind the protests is to make systematic changes in how the police department treats Black people. 

I feel that this issue was only talked about for a short amount of time and then forgotten about. The protests are still happening and are making a difference. Currently, in Los Angeles, people are protesting about the death of Breonna Taylor who was killed by police inside her Louisville, KY home. They are protesting so the officers will be charged and not just fired. Hundreds of people are still gathering to fight against racism and hopefully make a change. 

So far the protest has accomplished the arrest of Derek Chauvin and the three other officers on the scene of the killing of Floyd. Racism is also being more widely acknowledged. In Los Angeles, the LAPD is moving $133 million to other areas. One area where the money is going is to protect jobs that were lost due to the coronavirus. Also, policies have been made to limit chokeholds by police officers. 

These protests have accomplished a lot all over America, mostly involving police reforms. Lawmakers voted to ban Confederate names from military bases. Mississippi is changing their state flag which will not include the Confederate flag, and NASCAR will not allow this flag to be flown at any events. A lot of schools are reforming the way they teach and looking at racial equality policies. Disneyland is changing the theme of the Splash Mountain ride due to the fact that it was based on a racist film and is now going to be Princess and the Frog. 

I want to focus on how racism is being acknowledged and talked about. It’s so important to educate others on racism, so we can all be fully aware and help stop it. We need to understand and listen to the Black community, as it shows that we stand with them and are ready to fight against police brutality. 

What can you do?

Over the course of months, I have signed petitions and donated to many organizations designated to help with the protests. I was unable to attend any protest due to the coronavirus. I’m only 15, so there isn’t a lot I can do, but just signing petitions and donating can make a big difference. I also educate my family and friends, so they can help, which is an important factor. I wrote this to educate and inspire you to stand with the Black community. It’s time to make a difference. We can’t just sit back and let the police keep killing innocent people.