The Unbearable, Yet Bearable Lightness of Highschool

The high school memior of Mia America Gutierrez

The Unbearable, Yet Bearable Lightness of Highschool

     I had been anticipating writing this article for two years ever since I joined journalism my sophomore year and when the time had finally come, I wasn’t sure how to start. I had the idea of writing a memoir of my high school years. A lesson that I’ve learned every year, which is why that is the cutline. The headline is inspired by a novel that I read my sophomore called the Unbearable Bearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera that I love. 

   But due to recent events, I will not write about that anymore. Every high school experience is slightly different and I will write about all of my experiences and memories later in the future when I write my own memoir, but I will not use the platform that I have to do a play by play of my high school career, I am here to talk about what happened on Monday, May 25th, 2020. 

   George Floyd was getting arrested by four officers in Minneapolis, Minnesota. While he was on the ground, handcuffed, one of the police officers, Derek Chauvin, had his knee on Floyd’s neck, cutting off his circulation, for 8 minutes. Even though Floyd said, “I can’t breathe,” Derek Chauvin did not remove his knee, even after George Floyd’s body went limp. He was later pronounced dead. 

   This murder sparked and out-roar, not just in Minneapoles, but across the nation. As of June 1st, there have been more than 200 cities in the United States that have held protests, including Santa Ana, Orange, Anaheim, Huntington Beach, and Long Beach, and the numbers will keep on rising. As of June 3rd, all 50 states and 16 countries have had protests, making this the largest movement in world history. Why? Because black people are tired. They are tired of getting shot for no reason and they are tired of getting killed and not even getting the right to be called by their names in news articles.  Most nonblack people are tired of witnessing this injustice and constantly seeing America fail to live up to what it supposedly represents. They have faced oppression for hundreds of years and it has not stopped. How many many Black lives need to be lost for it to be understood it will not stop and we must take action? 

   Black Lives Matter, a movement to end State-sanctioned violence, liberate Black people, and end white supremacy, is also a political intervention in a world where black lives are systematically and intentionally targeted for demise. In August of 2014, BLM members organized their very first in-person protest after the shooting of 18 year old Michael Brown. This protest gained hundreds of followers and helped bring more awareness to the movement, especially on social media. 

   In 2015, police killed more than 100 unarmed black people. Additionally, 36% of unarmed people killed by the police were black despite black people making only 13% of the U.S. population during that time. Only 13 out of the 104 cases where an unarmed black person was killed by police resulted in the officers being charged with a crime. In 2016, black people were killed by police at more than twice the rate of white people. 

   With statistics going back for many years, I can write down pages and pages full of statistics that show how prevalent police brutality is, especially in African-American communities, but I have realized that it is not my job to tell those who are still ignorant of what the statistics show. It’s my job to be an ally and to spread awareness as much as I can, but not to summarize information found online. 

   “All Lives Matter” and “Blue Lives Matter” are not relevant. The hashtag ALLLIVESMATTER diminishes what the Black Lives Matter movement stands for. It exists because black people are dying daily because of the color of their skin. They are dealing with fear daily. Police brutality is nothing new. Black people have faced oppression for hundreds of years and it’s unfortunate that the fight for equality is still going on in 2020. 

   “Blue Lives Matter” is NOT the same as “Black Lives Matter.” Blue lives refers to cops, it refers to a JOB. It is a uniform that can be taken off and those who are cops were given a right to choose what type of career they wanted, and unfortunately, they decided to partake in systemic racism and an injustice system that oppresses and targets Black people. You do not choose the skin color that you are born with. I don’t know any other way to explain this.

     Focusing on the BLM movement does not take away the importance of the issues that other nonblack poc communities face, but they are who need the most help, they need support from all communities. Black Lives Matters does not mean that only Black lives matter. It’s to show how difficult it is to be a black person in America. White people need to recognize the privilege that they have and acknowledge what they don’t have to go through as a white person in America. Remember that having privilege does not mean that your life wasn’t hard. It means that you get a certain right if passage in your life that no other race will experience. 

   The older generation isn’t going to do anything, they haven’t done anything. It’s up to the younger generation. It is up to US to make that change. Please help spread awareness. Share petition links. It is not good enough to just not be racist. We all need to be anti-racist to end white supremacy in America and finally achieve Black liberation for black people everywhere. 

   A way to start contributing to this movement is initiating that conversation with your families. As a first-generation Mexican American, I acknowledge that there is a lot of anti-blackness embedded in the Latinx community, but talking about the protests and the movement to try and have family members understand why what’s happening NEEDS to happen, is a start. Also, because nonblack poc also face racism, it’s difficult to start that conversation with those family members to defend the BLM movement and the protests. I know that it’s very difficult and they may not understand at first, but this movement needs as much support as it can get. People may voice that not all cops are bad, but what about when cops assume all Black people are criminals? All Mexicans are illegals? They cannot expect respect from protesters when we do not get the same in return.

   And again, please participate in this movement for the right reasons. Black Lives Matters is not a trend, and Black lives do not just matter during this month or whenever the hashtag appears on social media, they matter every day. Before you go to a protest, ask yourselves, “Are you marching for freedom or when it’s convenient?” 

Below are lists of movies and books that can be watched to learn more about black people’s oppression in America. 

  • 13th 
  • LA92

Books to read: 

  • “Black Skin, White Masks” by Frantz Fernon 
  • “Are Prisons Obsolete?” by Angela Davis
  • “White Fragility: Why it’s so hard for white people to talk about racism” by Robin DiAngelo 

Petitions and Donation Links: please sign petitions for change.org but do not donate to them. 

JUSTICE FOR TONY MCDADE Petition · Justice For Tony McDade

 

And now, this is my last statement as Editor-In-Chief of the Frontline Newspaper. 

 

Say their names. 

 

Ahmuad Aubrey 

Breonna Taylor

George Floyd

Tamir Rice

Dontre Hamliton 

Michael brown

Eric Garner

John Crawford III

Ezel Ford

Dante Parker

Tanisha Anderson 

Akai Gurlery 

Rumain Brisbon 

Jerame Reid

Tony Robison

Philip White

Eric Harris

Walter Scott

Freddie Gray

Sean Reed

Steven Demarco Taylor

Ariane McCree

Terrance Franklin 

Miles Hall

Jamee Johnson 

Antwon Rose

Stephon Clark

Yassin Mohamed

Finan H Berhe

Darius Tarver

William Green 

Kwame “KK” Jones

De’von Bailey

Christpher Whitfield

Anthony Hill 

Eric logan

Jamarion Robinson

Gregory Hill Jr

JaQuavion Slaton 

Ryan Twyman

Brandon Webber

Jimmy Atchison

Willie McCoy

Emantic “EJ” fitzgerald Bradford Jr 

D’ettrick Griffin

Jemel Roberson 

DeAndre Ballard

Botham Shem Jean

Robert Lawrence White

Anthony Lamar Smith

Ramarley Graham 

Trayvon Martin 

Steven Day 

Michael Lorenzo Dean

Eric Reason

Christopher McCorvey

Steven Day

Christopher Whitfield 

Atatiana Jefferson

Maurice Holly

Jordan Michael Griffin 

Nicjolas Walker

Bennie Branch

Byron Williams

Arthur Walton Jr. 

Channara Tom Pheap 

Patricia Spivey

Stephan Murray

Ryan Twyman

Domonique Clayton

Isiah Lewis

Kevin Leroy Beasley Jr. 

Julius Graves

Marcus McVae

Marzues Scott

Bishar Hassan 

Kevin Bruce Mason

Mario Clark

George Robinson

Andre Horton

Jesse Jesus Quinton

Mahlon Edward Summerrour

Charles D. Roundtree Jr. 

Chinedu Valentine Okobi 

Antone G. Black Jr. 

Darell Richards

Botham Shem Jean

James Leatherwood 

Joshua Wayne Harvey 

Christopher Alexander Okamato

Cynthia Fields

Rashaun Washington

Anthony Marcell Green 

Antwon Michael Rose II

Robert Lwarence White

Marcus-David L. Peters

Terrance Carlton

Juan Markee Jones

Danny Ray Thomas

Stephon Clark

Trey Ta’Quan Pringle Sr. 

Ronell Foster

Corey Mobley

Arthur McAfee Jr. 

Geraldine Townsend 

Warren Ragudo 

Thomas Yatsko 

Dennis Plowden 

Jean Pedro Pierre

Keita O’ Neil 

Lawrence Hawkins 

Calvin toney 

Dewboy Lister 

Armando Frank 

Stephen Gayle 

William Mattew Homes

Anthony Antonio For

Charles David Robinson 

Devin Howell 

Herbert Gilbert

Thomas Williams

Airea Clark 

Antonio Garcia Jr.

Brian Easley 

Euree Lee Martin 

DeJuan Guilory 

Aaron Bailey

Joshua Terrell Crawford

Marc Brandon Davis

Adams Trammell 

Jimmie Montel Sanders

DeRicco Devante Holdon 

Mark Roshawn Adkins

Tashii S. Brown 

Jordan Edwards 

Roderick Ronall Taylot 

Kenneth Johnson 

Christopher Wade 

Alteria Woods

Sherida Davis

Lorenzo Antione Cruz

Chance David Baer

Raynard Burton 

Quanice Derrick Hayes

Chad Robertson 

Jerome Keith Allen 

Nana Adomako 

Marquez Warren 

Deaundre Philiops

Sabin Marcus Jones

Darrian M. Barnhill 

JR Williams 

Muhummad Abdul Muhaymin 

Jamal Robbins

Marlon Lewis 

Ritchie Lee Harbison 

Lamont Perry 

  • 200 more 

 

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