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Op-Ed: Black Lives Matter

CHS Senior Anna Walbruch submitted the following-opinion editorial piece to The Camasonian:

CHS Senior Anna Walbruch

Looking back on history, it is clear who supported equality and equal rights and who did not. Names like Martin Luther King Jr, Frederick Douglas, and Malcolm X remain prevalent figures in history because they stood up for what they believed in and did not falter. As the world faces another battle for equal rights, I want to be able to look back at which side of history I was on. 

Before sharing my opinion on this topic, I turned to one of the rules I learned in my many journalism classes: always back your ideas with facts. If you cannot support your ideas, do not share them. So, instead of forming an uneducated opinion, I decided to research and ask questions.

I turned to my friends on social media, learning from their posts and thoughts. I visited the Black Lives Matter Website to learn about what the movement was actually about. I read articles about protests and riots. I learned about the reason people resort to rioting. I researched white privilege, what it is and why it happens. I read and watched every social media post I could find regarding this topic.

Through all of this, I came to one important conclusion, one that is summed up perfectly through a Dr. Seuss quote: “Unless someone like you cares an awful lot, nothings going to get better. It’s not.” While this quote was meant to address climate change, I find it very fitting for this situation. In order to make necessary changes in our society, we must first be passionate about the issue. Then, and this is the important part, we have to do something about it.

Doing something is the part I really struggle with. I know I support the movement, but what can I do to help? I post on social media regarding important topics, but I don’t feel like this would make an important impact. So, after a sleepless night asking myself this question, I decided to write this op-ed; not only to share my thoughts but also to hopefully help you find something you can do. 

  1. Educate yourself. If you have questions or are unsure about the issues people face, start here. This is a very important step towards change. For a long time, minorities were not allowed an education out of fear of what they might be able to do or become. Now, in the United States, everyone has a right to education. Take advantage of this right. Ask questions, research, and actively seek credible information.
  2. Get involved. There is so much you can do! You can start by posting important information on social media. I am grateful for the advanced technology we have that allows us to send and share information to millions of people at the touch of a button. After sharing, go to a protest. Use your voice to make others listen. 
  3. Donate. There are so many ways your money can go to good use. The following are just a few organizations that need your help: George Floyd Memorial Fund, Justice for Breonna, Campaign Zero, Black Lives Matter, The Innocence Project, and National Bail Out
  4. Use your skills and talents to show support. Each individual has talents and skills they can use. If you are an artist, make an impactful piece of art. If you are a writer, use the power of your words. You can sing, bake, make items to sell, teach and so much more. Use your own passions to support this important cause. 
  5. Sign a petition. Petitioning is written into the Constitution through the First Amendment. Use your rights to enact change. Visit Black Lives Matter to find petitions you can sign today. 

Just as we look back on the past, one day people will look back on today. Will people know what you did to fight inequality? Will people know you were on the same side as justice? Make choices now, so you will always be proud of the actions you took. 

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