Can anything change after Ferguson?
As the college students and young adults who are supposed to be leading the way to our future, we can't possibly even begin to reform laws when we are all so busy battling each others' likes on Instagram and trying to afford the rising cost of a decent education. I know I am not the only one who feels like there is something halting our potential movements.
We are distracted. It is so simple to access anything by the click of a button, that marching together as a community, even a state, would seem like an alien idea. It would be too difficult and almost impossible with everyone pulling out their phones to capture themselves “saving the day”. The age of hope is diminished by the lack of continuous psychical unity.
Students do not want to waste money spent on classes by skipping out and heading to a revolutionary meeting. Our futures are heavily directed by the college system and the consequential job market we aim to get into after graduation.
They say school comes first, therefore all of the controversial meetings are usually held in limited boxes of time between classes where we can speak our minds. For example, the Michael Brown peaceful protest ended up inside the AS building this past week. If we can’t handle a few raindrops how can we, the youth, expect to convert peoples' thinking?
And we can talk about how wrong it was for every officer to shoot a young person down, but that is merely chitchat. Police brutality isn’t going to change until we do.
Action is what we need. We need a movement that is not bounded by classroom schedules and work, or Black Friday and bills. But of course we cannot, in 2014, abandon all of our necessities for living, this is not the 60's. We are tolerating deaths so that we can continue on with our every day monotony, prepping ourselves for the next year and the next. We speak of the same repetitive issues, and that’s why they keep happening. Once an epidemic becomes so common that the total population becomes accustomed to it, like homelessness and teen pregnancy, it becomes the new norm. But this ‘norm’ is not new at all; it’s been in America for centuries. Perhaps history is the biggest obstacle to finding a proper, enduring solution. After the word “freedom” is tossed around they wonder what else we could possibly want. Equality? Yes, but justice? That’s for the people in positions of power to determine.
How many more Trayvon Martins and Michael Browns will we watch become buried with injustice? From the chokehold of New York’s Eric Garner to LAPD’s double teamed Ezell Ford. Both are obvious attempts to abolish a group of people. It only took one Rosa Parks to start a bus boycott and ultimately end the Jim Crow laws by forcing bus drivers out of business.
Maybe if the beatings get worse, the killings aren’t all predominately of color, and not all the oppressors are white, the attention of lawmakers who stand far above the poverty line can then be grasped.
I pose these questions to all of you who labor in the 'land of the free’, who work part-time with no health care, who can hardly afford homes, and who take care of family that is far away. Change has to stem from somewhere that will pressure the authority to give in. Talks and walks aren’t cutting it; they hear us but they’re not listening. They see us but, they don’t care.
We have to make them care. And if that means sacrificing our personal lives and social ideals for 'adulthood' then so be it.
College students used to be powerful and innovative, we had voices with ideas, and we expected nothing less than bright futures. Those all apply to us now, but they lie dormant under our skulls and in our veins, and as soon as the rage is built up it is vanished along with the rest of unresolved challenges. I can choose how I want to live, and that is not being afraid of the people who are to serve us by blatantly handing out death certificates.