Black Lives Matter illustration
Black Lives Matter

“As Abraham Lincoln once said, ‘I don’t like that man. I must get to know him better.’ One of the best ways to connect with someone is to look them straight into the eyes. In that moment we share our feelings and the walls that kept us apart disappear.”
By Christina Schulz, artist.

This artwork adorns the front cover of our Autumn 2020!

Black Lives Matter

Written by Aliya Shetty Oza, grade 7, Mumbai, India

“Dark skin is not a crime and light skin is not a prize.” – Urbanrogue
The human race can adapt under various circumstances that could possibly challenge them and their very own existence. Our strengths combined with our smarts and abilities have risen above these problems generation after generation. Humanity has faced troubles and challenges of all different sorts and origins, ranging from natural disasters, wars, greed and corruption, and more recently a global pandemic.
But I don’t think there is a specific number that could represent the amount of suffering caused by closed minds and clouds of judgment. There will always be factors that differentiate us from animals, one of them being judgment. Judgment is a way to perceive others and the world around us by mental and emotional means.
Judgment can lead to misfortune and simply, chaos. There are thousands being judged every single day because of their race, nationality, culture, skin, gender—to name a few. People have to fight for their rights as citizens of their respective countries and inhabitants of the planet. People must learn to not hate those that are different, but to cherish their diversity. Don’t criticize your differences; celebrate them. Learn from them. History has taught us all about the acts of mankind and how they have affected lives. We let prejudiced thoughts and beliefs like racism, discrimination, inequality, etc. thrive among us so that they settle into our system eventually. 
If you scroll through the latest news and more recent topics, you will find dozens of articles and headlines about the brutal murders of innocent, unarmed black people. Sources say that the police officers of the United States were behind most of these deaths. An officer named Derek Chauvin, now infamous due to his bad deeds and acts of consequence, was the killer of an unarmed black man named George Floyd. There have been countless tributes and protests globally to stand up for the black people. As a result, officer Chauvin has been charged with 2nd degree murder and is behind bars because he pinned George Floyd to the ground with his knee pressed on his neck for over 8 minutes. Floyd’s last words were, “Please, I can’t breathe.” Witnesses present that day watched the lights go out in his eyes. How can a police officer, which has sworn to protect the citizens, end up killing one instead.
Covid-19 has taken lives and businesses and continues to do so. It has brought down countries and governments to their knees. It doesn’t distinguish between countries, religions or persons. It has actually reminded us that we are all equal irrespective of our culture, finances, race or gender. The disease treats us all equally, why can’t we treat each other equally? 

This pandemic has already ended countless lives. Now we need to come together and help each other. Education, for instance, plays a vital role in our lives and without it there are misunderstandings, problems and worse. Money and finances can also shape a person’s life. If you are privileged, help others. Give your time and importance to helping others that are less fortunate and don’t have the same opportunities that you might. What you give, you receive. Always remember that. 
In this unprecedented crisis, it is our collective responsibility to contribute in every way possible. In circumstances where we cannot be of help to others, let us not be the cause that derails the efforts.

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