Posted in Photography

Heated.

Dating back to the Ancient Greeks, many proposed that humans had the potential to alter the earth’s temperature and exhibit a degree of control over its precipitation…

A recent surge in youth activism has shed a light upon a ubiquitous issue that not just America faces, but the world: the warming of the climate. At first, I saw this activism as a beneficial opportunity to educate people about the danger and the limited time that our country faces in regards to mending the natural environment that human activity has brutally wounded. However, I recently saw the consequences of placing climate change under activist connection. By definition, activism is the policy or action using extensive types of campaigning to bring about social and political change. Riddle me this, how did climate change end up under a political column?

Climate Change’s definition is purely under categories of scientific fields, including but not limited to chemistry, biology, ecology, and oceanography. I could comprehend the idea of government and public policy sticking their noses up global warming, but politics? Have we really sunk to this new low? This type of phenomenon is analogous to such “opinions” that the earth is flat. Denying scientific evidence is not a political strategy and will not invoke any type of “hope” that is considered imaginary in regards to the climate.

In order to further my reasoning, I’d like to utilize a different course of study: history. The climate has been warming for some time now and it’s important to know the foundations to which it has been growing on for centuries. I’ve additionally included possibly unfamiliar visuals to observe a distinct perspective rather than using our every-day perception to view climate change through another lens.

(Note: these pictures are not meant to necessarily help understand or correlate to the text, but provide a different perspective as to how we see view our surroundings today).

Early Humanity — Processed with VSCO with 6 preset

The Neolithic Revolution marked the beginning of humanity’s inescapable fall toward an uninhabitable near future. Newly introduced agricultural practices such as grazing and and deforestation removed natural practices of photosynthesis and necessary plant life that contributed to the stability of gases. These practices resulted in intensified erosion of the surface and increased sedimentation, a new study by professors at Tel Aviv University in Israel find. Erosion and sedimentation can result in a loss of biodiversity in some areas, limiting such sources and species necessary in food chains and ecosystems.

Indeed, the Neolithic Revolution wasn’t a detrimental period to the environment itself, but rather a starting line to a race toward humanity’s most arrogant decisions.

Fast forward hundreds of years later and the greenhouse effect is born. French mathematician and physicist Joseph Fourier proposed that energy reaching the planet as sunlight must be balanced by energy returning to space since heated surfaces emit radiation. Some of that energy, however, must be held within the atmosphere and not return to space, keeping Earth warm. He deemed that this motion was “like a greenhouse…”

By the 1930’s, at least one scientist would start to claim that carbon emissions might already be having a warming effect. British engineer Guy Stewart Callendar noted that the United States and North Atlantic region had warmed up incredulous amounts as a result of the Industrial Revolution. This was the AHA moment… for scientists, at least. Callendar’d ideas were based on the growth of the greenhouse effect due to the new advancements brought upon by factories and emissions from non-environmental friendly practices. His theories were met largely with skepticism and wouldn’t be truly recognized until the dust bowl of 1930, a devastating natural occurrence that brought panic amongst the newly recognized theory of climate change.

The Dust Bowl was caused by severe drought brought upon by farmers suffering from a shortage of farming supplies due to an economic depression. The most prominent cause in its association with the climate is that temperatures were unusually high during those years. The theories dating back to thousands of years ago were true: humanity has the potential to alter the time we spend on this planet.

The good news was that scientists were finally starting to take alterations of the climate a bit more seriously, the bad news was that this created leeway for ubiquitous panic, which often leads to messy politics.

For the next ninety years, scientific job numbers would reach new heights as new panics over previously accepted jobs including fracking and pesticide usage surged across the globe. Such jobs decrease biodiversity and increase pollution. Among these consequences is the effect of erosion.

Erosion

Half of the topsoil on the planet has been lost in the last fifty years. Losing rich those nutrients and richness earth bestows upon us not only limits biodiversity that benefits the environment, but decreases the potential agriculture that absorbs carbon emissions. However, this goes beyond the loss of environmental friendly land, erosion causes sediment runoff in lakes and rivers which disturbs aquatic ecology necessary for the absorption of carbon.

Keeping the world green and rich with species is not a matter of saving the incomes of farmers, it’s a matter of preserving the biodiversity on both land and water that creates an eco-friendly community that so righteously evolved since the Big Bang.

So let’s talk about how humanity has fulfilled its urge to play God throughout the fraction of the time its existed.

Humanity.

Overpopulation, urbanization, burning fossil fuels, deforestation, fracking, national factories. Would it surprise you if I said that this was the tip of the iceberg? Failure to address exceedingly high carbon emissions, failure to implement national eco-friendly policy, failure to collaborate internationally.

Ever since the first global agreement to reduce greenhouse gases, the Kyoto Protocol, was adopted in 1997, there has been unnecessary, unfulfilling, pointless and dangerous debate as to whether policy regarding the environment should be nationally enforced. In fact, George Bush backed out of this protocol, claiming it was nothing but a so-called economic setback.

In recent years, America’s leaders have made the dreadful decision to back out of the Paris Climate Agreement, a collaborative effort by the United Nations to reduce the global temperature increase to less than 2 degrees celsius. This agreement is a way for developed countries to work together and aid developing countries in assimilating globally practiced efforts to reduce humanity’s impact on the environment in the most agreeable way possible.

Or, was a way.

Now that the United States has removed itself from this turning point in global climate action, America’s outlier emissions will exacerbate other countries’ efforts to create effective change. In a way, America is that one kid in English Class, running his mouth and eventually giving the whole class detention due to his incompetence and selfishness.

All in all, we have failed to address something that may very well reflect our children’s future.

Speaking of the future, let’s discuss what is has in store.

NASA predicts that climate change will act as a constant from this year and beyond. In other words, it will continue from this century onto the next, but its magnitude and the effect on which it has on future generations can’t be wholeheartedly predicted. Meaning, what we do now and how we act matters. Moreover, as heat emissions rise, so does drought and heat waves. NASA predicts that summer temperatures will continue to rise, lessening soil moisture and “exacerbating heat waves.” Additionally, if soil moisture is weakened, what happens to the plant life? The amount of green on earth will decrease, causing a possible shortage of habitat life needed in an ecosystem and necessary for certain human practices.

NASA has continuously mentioned that hurricanes will grow stronger and faster along with the Arctic become completely ice-free. Interesting then, how it looks like the quantity of hurricanes and storms have been dramatically increasing every decade. Sure enough, the United States hit a record breaking number of hurricanes in 2020 alone.

Beauty Conservation

I don’t want to grow up in a society where science is rejected and urgent matters are ignored. I don’t want to convince my friends, colleagues, or family that there is an existential crisis that has exhibited the data and the evidence of its potential demise to humanity’s way of life itself.

Most of all, I don’t want to have to explain to my future children that when we had the power to take action, we missed our chance. I don’t want to explain to them why we couldn’t use our democratic power to present a certain level of control over our country’s public policy.

Science is not and will never amount to a political problem. It is a matter of science, policy and international collaboration that requires a most profound manner of attention. Maybe not our lives, nor our children’s lives may depend on it, but the fate of our species does.

Citations:

The Effects of Climate Change. 21 Aug. 2020, climate.nasa.gov/effects/.

History.com Editors. Climate Change History. 6 Oct. 2017, http://www.history.com/topics/natural-disasters-and-environment/history-of-climate-change.

Thing. Earliest Human Impact on Environment Discovered. 6 June 2017, economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/science/earliest-human-impact-on-environment-discovered/articleshow/59019920.cms.

Soil Erosion and Degradation. http://www.worldwildlife.org/threats/soil-erosion-and-degradation.

Posted in Inspiration

Matter

What does it mean for something to matter?

Matter is anything that has mass takes up space; so for something to truly matter to someone is an item that takes up considerable thought and pulls a weight on one’s mind. Additionally, matter cannot be created nor destroyed.

Personally, I believe that there are only three facets of matter that are of the utmost importance for one to survive both physically and emotionally: themselves, the people they consider family, and their morals. Everything else is optional and arbitrary for they are not there to stay.

I understand this observation seems obtuse and twisted in its own way, but there is a reason why I have to say this.

On a day where you failed a test you thought you nailed, where a boyfriend/girlfriend broke up with you, when your SAT scores didn’t turn out the way you wanted them to, remember that these moments are not representative to your survival nor your long term health. They don’t hold weight in your mind forever, therefore, they do not matter.

Kept this short and sweet because it just had to be said… at 10pm on a Sunday.

We live in an unjust and mountainous field of systems. These systems keep us alive and on our feet but they are apt to a multitude of difficulties. It seems legitimately impossible and quite frankly pointless to restrain the urge to beat yourself up over something that holds no water for the future. Get back on the horse, get help if you need it, but never back down from a fight.

Seems childish to think of it this way, right? I dare you to try it for two weeks. See how many arrows are thrown at you and count the times you tell yourself “it does not matter.” Because by definition, it does not.

Posted in Poems

Shipwreck’s Cove

I thought I would think about something positive and heartwarming for a change. I wrote this poem about a place in Santa Barbara that I used to visit every year – hope you enjoy!

We travelled five hours by car every month just to get there. And when we moved, we would travel another for another four Hours and drive another 3 hours just to stay at a house  Smaller in size but a great deal larger in heart, 

Even if the scenery wasn’t as picturesque as last year’s…  

What I’ve learned throughout my sixteen years on earth  Is that the identity of a town changes in pursuit of catching up with the times.

Mornings were for baking bread Late mornings were for sandy runs.  Dad and I made the five minute walk to the beach to walk along  The high tides and aquatic portraits that marked a  Past and generation never forgotten. 

Hardly anyone ever appreciated such a scenery now. 

Walks on the beach turn into drives to the mall. Locally bought fish turn into corporate chain fast food. The weekly flea market fades into office building construction. 

It takes a special kind of place to feel the mourning this brings. 

The family next door and my family decided to take a walk Longer than usual that day.  We threw sticks for the dogs. The dogs barked at the seagulls and the seagulls chased the dogs.  It was all so subtly correct.  We didn’t know we were among an unfamiliar shore until we saw it. 

At first, we thought we were hallucinating a sunken ship. But there it was: a rock so defined, It was almost destined to burn a hole in our minds. 

It had to have been there for years if not decades, but how had we never seen it?  One tends to forget a place’s roots when other fascinations come into play  Downtown.  “A ship!” I cried, immediately climbing the rocky steps of the eight foot structure.  “Wow, I- ” My father began.  “Nature is a powerful force.” My mother filled his unspoken shock. 

My neighbor and I climbed the rock, touching every sea anemone we could Find while watching them mistake our touch for sustenance.  Nature truly was another dimension. 

Sea water crashed into the rock’s foundation and splashed all over our  Brand new, retail-bought sundresses.  Did we care?  How could we?  We were somewhere else. 

Closing my eyes, I felt the wind as an energy source. I tasted the salty air, believing it  Could sustain me forever.  I walked along the edges of the geologically composed ship, trusting it to hold me up as I watched the sun set on a malleable society.  We had been there an unforgettable twelve hours. 

Not a single store downtown could measure up to the joy and freedom I felt that day.  Even as corporate greed blinds the city of my innocence, Shipwreck’s cove, as vulnerable as the ocean is to human detriment, maintains the  God-given nature it so breathtakingly deserves. 

I do feel its presence when I return every year, but what sounds  Crazy is that I think it’s waiting for me.  Maybe that’s wishful thinking, But at times when wishful thinking is the only safety net we have,

We’ll take what we can get. 

Posted in Inspiration

The World Craves Literature

I have to admit, it’s been a struggle to push myself to this blank page on Word Press for the past couple of weeks. Remote learning has drained all there is out of me and replaced my eyeballs with glitchy cameras thanks to the blue glare. I’ve been so exhausted that I developed a stye in my left eye and ended up purchasing blue light glasses to manage the headaches. I was having trouble getting myself to this site to write about something that resonated with me because in all honesty, I hadn’t been seeing much that’s worth expanding and analyzing. It’s a new raucous every day in the news, more racist Karens in the media, and an alarming spread of evil that has now plagued everyone’s decisions this November.

Anyway, enough negativity; there is actually a point to this seemingly extraneous personal information. I realized that I couldn’t find meaning in my surroundings because I wasn’t looking close enough. I had developed a relapsing case of boredom and lack of motivation and failed to see the creativity that had been right in front of my internet-diseased eyes this whole time: literature.

The week before school started, I had decided to embark on a miniature reading project that required me to re-read my favorite freshman year book series and trilogies (don’t worry… I’m writing a review on those later). These books were, of course, under my current reading level, but not long after I read the first couple of chapters did I see the value of demonstrating this activity. I read further into not the story of my characters, but the act of re-evaluation. I have participated in AP English since the beginning of my freshman year of high school, but my reading skills have not always been at their current level. However, I’d rather call “reading skills” something different… how about hunting perspective? I mean, isn’t what the majority of reading is all about? To experience someone’s story through a different lens each time and interpreting the various lessons that the author wants to teach? I didn’t truly come to this realization until a couple of weeks ago when my favorite new english teacher had us read and analyze four short stories.

These short stories were specifically meant to confuse us as an audience, but they were also meant to help us see the value in questioning what’s directly in the text; that’s too easy. Re-reading my freshman-favorite books from an older, more mature version of myself allowed my mind to breathe in the text and exhale a new perspective on characters, lessons, and themes.

Well, why is this useful? Interpreting, analyzing, and studying various stories is merely the equivalent to recognizing that the world is not black and white. There will never be one right answer to a question, no single trait to define someone, no one lens to capture a moment. If you put in the effort, there is always another path to go down.

The world needs literature because life on paper is the only means of having people understand this idea and apply it to life outside the paper. We understand metaphors because we don’t want to recognize that we are living what horror the author is describing, but we have to own up to reality. Perspective hunting is the only way to truly make a dent in the impact we want to have. I’m advocating for a more just society in which we see reality the way we read literature: wholeheartedly and thoroughly. I see this as a way to make it easier for humanity to not just recognize the crises but also understand how to approach them.

Do right by the future and read, interpret, and re-read.

Posted in Uncategorized

Tiny World Sneak Peak

Hello my artist-activists! I do apologize for the inactivity lately, I have been incredibly busy with college apps and remote learning during my senior year… it’s been a long month for my brain…

Anyway, I am beginning a project for my Independent Study in Journalism course and I wanted to post a sneak peak/inspiration photo journal for what that might look like in the coming weeks. Basically, I will be doing studio photography with objects rather than people (if you know me at all, you would know that photographing people is my specialty and forte). However, in light of recent events (that being a global pandemic), I will be attempting a new approach to studio photography while incorporating an environmental activism instilled theme. I can’t tell you much… but I’m excited to see where my creative hinges break off to.

Enjoy some of my tiny world inspiration from an earlier project this year that helped jumpstart my idea for this project as well as engage my “lens mindset” as I call it in photography.

Posted in Advice, My Own Experiences, Thoughts

On the Story of High School

I hate high school. Actually I wouldn’t say I hate high school, more of the conformist principles that follow through with the idea of it.

Whether it’s the level of your classes or the color of your skin, judgement precedes to drag on for the four years we spend in this prison of puberty.

That said, high school is a necessary component to the growth of one’s emotional health, compatibility, and stability.

Sometimes, emotions are everywhere and everything in a person’s life. I mean, think about it: we act on our feelings, we go through twelve different types of emotions every day and we even use them to establish principles in our government. Beside the point, but what I’m trying to say is that every adult you meet had to go through the four years of hell we’re going through and they’re better people for it.

I hate saying it, but what if you never went through that one awful breakup with the boy or girl you thought you were going to marry – you’d probably never understand the potential toxicity that can result from a relationship. Or what if you had stuck with that one fake friend that almost ruined your confidence and self image? You’d probably be stuck in a group of friends that put you down and never gained the confidence that you deserve. What if you never got that one failed grade in AP Government? You probably wouldn’t have worked harder for the next test and never found your passion for law. Whatever the moments may be, imagine the completely different life you’d lead if those few low points in high school never happened.

Ages 14 – 18 are critical for a person’s emotional development because this is around the time you enter (as Piaget put it) the Formal Operational Stage of Growth. I like to call this the “UnInnocent” stage of cognitive development because by age 12, you start to see the world as an imperfect place. You finally understand that the world is not “good” and contains little bits of evil in our present and past and well, the future is up to us. It’s truly a sad scientific phenomenon, yet imperative in terms of the grand scheme of things.

By the time you reach high school, you are aware of the world’s evil, but yet to experience it: the relationships, friendships, boys, family, and grades, all hold a fair hand in this but none of them have as big of an effect as the conformity ideals.

To me, this is the biggest injustice of all, for conformity diminishes the confidence and creativity within oneself. The society that we have unintentionally created in high school practically forces peers to wear the same clothes, buy the same food, listen to the same music and if you pose even the slightest difference, you’re a “freak” or “weirdo” or “nerd.”

Well, here’s what I say to that. We can’t change people. But, we can change the system. For that reason, I look up to those freaks and weirdos that build homemade robots in their garage, wear recycled cans as a belt to school, or strike the local clothing stores in a fight against child labor. Without difference, there are no risk takers, and without risks, there will be no true innovation. We’ve seen this in our history and to be honest, it all starts with some form of schooling whether that be high school, middle school, or possibly even elementary school.

This is also why I am a strong advocate for a college education. College is a different type of schooling: they ENCOURAGE risks, they promote DIVERSITY, and reward INNOVATION. Each adult that I have spoken to on the basis of high school informed me that “I just had to get through the next four years.” I never truly understood what it meant until I became a senior looking back on all of the emotional yet necessary years of this component of growing up.

The people that you label now as freaks are not inferior, they’ve made an attempt to crumble the systemic stereotypes that claim we all have to be “one way.” If that’s considered weird, then I guess all of us activists are outcasts, and we’re proud. There is more than one way to create change, even if it’s not reaching very many people. There are a plethora of examples representing this idea one being… this blog!

I understand that my voice isn’t reaching the majority of the population, however if I can inspire just one person then I have done my job. Because that one person will go on to inspire another, and that person will do the same, and then we have this ripple effect that eventually reaches a community.

My goals are not to get publicity here, my goals are to inspire my readers into evaluating multiple perspectives, look deeper than the surface, and find and create proactive ways to make change.

Thank you for reading, see you next week.

Posted in Inspiration

Watch and Be.

I had the rare privilege of listening to Dr. Phillip Zimbardo, a world renowned psychologist, discuss world morality and evil and how to combat it. Known for his Stanford Prison Experiment, Dr. Zimbardo was interested to see if he could turn “good” people into “bad” people by manipulating an environment to represent a prison. Eventually, it was shut down due to its unethical practices. However, it is forever infamous for establishing a revolution in APA guidelines to make controlled environmental studies healthier for participants.

Years later, Dr. Zimbardo committed himself to turn his research around during the world’s pivot from equality. Inspired by his research and the kindness of his community, he began what he called “The Heroic Imagination Project.”

Contrary from his previous experiment, the non profit’s focus was to turn ordinary people into “good” people, or rather, something of a hero.

He discussed the project’s necessity in these testing times and explained that the goal is to simply spread strength amongst our young adults. Sound familiar?

The project consists of specific lessons and modules to help people understand the psychology of decision making, good vs evil, strong vs. week, etc. This way, before people even begin to be active in their communities, they’ll understand the why behind behavior rather than going in blind. This method drastically reduces the potential violent risks that can occur due to anger and disagreement; when two groups understand each other, finding a viable solution becomes less of an impossibility.

I wish I had more time with Dr. Zimbardo, for I would have told him I fervently admire his methodology to not only provide lessons in psychology, but proactively creating change. He teaches with the intent to inspire and writes for the hope of change.

That is the type of news I wish to see on my feed. Ironically enough, psychology teaches us that humans are persuaded through visual cues and observational learning. When we present informational positivity such as that, it not only lifts our spirits, but encourages that same response on our own end. Similar to coronavirus, when inspiration hits one of us, it hits us all.

Later that week, I experienced the one and only Hamilton for the second time in my life. Of course, this experience was virtual but all the same, I was emotionally conflicted. Hamilton takes us on an intense and personal journey of the life of Alexander Hamilton and Eliza Schuyler as they migrate through the discovery of the streets and systems that make up our country today. Lin Manuel-Miranda also elaborates on the deeper meaning of history and I cannot quite understand what it is yet. All the same, he initiated a historical and original piece of art that took us on an emotional rollercoaster through the mistakes of history and humanity themselves to express a deeper root.

Why am I telling you all this? For one thing, I want my audience to understand all of the possible ways to create change through a pen and paper. However, I also want to spread the good, all I see is the bad nowadays which contributes to the anger and unrest. I want to start to see a real change out there and even if I only a reach a couple of people a day, at least I’ll know that I planted those thoughts and they’ll find their way out of my audience’s head eventually and be out there for other people to absorb and act upon eventually.

Be the change you want to see in the future because for all we know, we may be in for the long haul. Just because you’re not in a classroom, or at work, or in a laboratory doesn’t mean your duty to the country is finished. Finish what George Washington started, what Martin Luther Kind Jr. started, what your parents started, your mentor, anyone! Possibilities are endless when you determine where to start.

All it takes is a pen, paper, and a voice.

Posted in Inspiration

The Art of Social Change

I’ve been having a weird “Peter Pan” outlook lately.

The concept of growing up scares the skin off of me, and not for the reasons you’d think. The story of Peter Pan embarks on the desire to have no responsibilities and remain dependent on one’s surroundings forever. For that reason, Peter gives up on the Lost Boys and even Wendy because they have to go back to England, which represents reality, rather than stay in Neverland with Peter, representing a world without worry.

It’s accurate to say that neither one of those outcomes is expected anytime soon.

I don’t fear responsibility and leadership, in fact, I crave it; however, I am concerned to face society as an adult because I fear there will be no liberty nor unity nor stability left for me to experience.

I am concerned for the mess that the current president is leaving for incoming generations to clean up, which we are more than capable of doing, despite the unjustness of it.

Indeed, I am also fearful of the silence that we may be required to practice – this is the “liberty” aspect that I was speaking of earlier- it is a chilling notion to witness your country become prone to the dictatorship and oppression that now plagues the white house.

Regardless of my fears, I write to promote creativity and art during these testing times. So why don’t I provide some incentive? I have watched beautiful African dances on the roads, beautiful graffiti that now imbues on the walls of streets, articles and films that depict a poetry and truth to the movement that runs throughout the country and will continue to run throughout the decade.

Look at all of the incredible stories we have created: global contribution to counter an injustice, social encouragement for diversity, cultural education, and so much more. These stories emerged not from the uproar in the streets that we watch in the news, but from the culture in diverse communities that we must fight to preserve.

The books may deem this year a chaotic and disorderly time, and yes, it was and still is. However, what emerged from the violence will be an improved and just world where the citizens we promised in our constitution to protect feel protected. The fight will never be over until we see the change that should have been made three hundred years ago.

And how do we implement it?

Not with guns, nor tweets, nor instagram, but with a pen, some paper, and a voice.

Posted in History Nerds Only, Inspiration, Thoughts

A Societal Logic

There are two sides to every war. Each believe that they are building a better world and creating an improved future. It’s funny, each side refuses to alter their perspective and attempt to understand the behavior behind their opponent’s decisions – isn’t this what married couples do every day?

I’ve never experienced the technical “total war” phenomenon that generations in the Civil War and Red Scare lived through, but it certainly does feel like all of our surveillance and resources are violently circling Trump vs. the People war.

We started a movement. Many thought it would “blow over” within a week and yet we are still roaming the streets in every U.S state including 49 other countries, fighting for our neighbors. They undermine the power the People have, they undermine the rigor, the ability, and worst of all, they undermine our young. I cannot tell you how much I stress this idea: our GenZer’s will not just better the future, but reform society.

The Oppression will never blow over, the Oppressors will pay for their crimes, and the Oppressed will show us our true strength.

However, I don’t want to talk too much about the conflict, but rather the factors enabling its escalation.

The silent.

It is not my intention to sound radical, but throughout history, it was the silence and failure to act that kept us from our potential. The age group consisting of eighteen to twenty-six year olds in the US didn’t place their vote in the 2016 election, resulting in a child’s inauguration for president. Additionally, the original constitution included nothing about slaves and their place in society because of the founding father’s failure to incorporate any means of resolution.

As a whole, silence can be far more consequential than the opposing side’s actions sometimes, and it’s not difficult to understand why. How would you feel if people around you had means and capabilities to stop something horrible from happening to you and chose not to? Truly, it’s no different than high school bullying. The bystanders are just as responsible as the bullies because they watched and allowed. This phenomenon is not new in American History; look at the first two world wars. I say first two because if we keep at the rate we’re going, we’ll be lucky if our future generations know the word “peace” in their vocabulary.

I came about this concept while reading Kristin Hannah’s The Nightingale in a chapter describing a billeted Nazi in the protagonist’s house. Throughout the novel, the author creates a progressing conscience in Nazi Captain Beck as the war exacerbates. The readers finally understand that Beck was against the actions of Germany but was required to follow orders and conform with his country. During a climactic chapter of the book, Captain Beck was killed by our protagonist, Vianne, because of the consequences threatened to him and his family to find a fallen pilot hidden by Vianne’s sister in the house they both resided in. What we see here is not just the bystander concept but also the societal logic that traveled throughout the narrative. The way I interpreted this chapter is that if one practices silence, the blood is on their hands as well.

My goal is not to place blame nor allow guilt, but to assess the narrative logic that bleeds into humanity today. To put it in the simplest terms: if you are not with us, you are against us. If you do nothing to fix it, you are making it easier for the opposition to imbue chaos and danger onto this democracy. Maybe you don’t care about that, some people don’t, so why don’t I give you a little more incentive:

Writers, directors, artists, photographers, or any creative leader establishes this phenomenon in which the silent are always punished because of their failure to speak up against injustice. Always.

With that, I will ask you this: Do you really think that everything is eventually going to be okay? Do you truly believe that after a few months, everything is going to go back to normal? What happens then, we just wait for another man to die? Another woman? Another inept, thoughtless goon for president? One day, you will become more than just a “watcher” if we allow the system to go unchanged.

Be a force of nature, stand up for not just yourself, but for your neighbors, your family, you children, and their children.

Your instagram aesthetic can wait; it doesn’t make you “uncool” to publicly stand with justice.

Thanks for reading.

Posted in Inspiration

He Couldn’t Breathe, and it’s Our Fault

I am sorry.

I’m sorry because I have contributed to this decades long silence that led to hundreds of deaths in the black community. I believed and supported a cause that I wasn’t doing enough for and because of that blindness, we are now at militant war with our so-called “leadership.”

Over the past couple of years, we have been in what I call, a Cold Civil war: where non-combat fighting and propaganda measures occupy the States and are used against our own brothers and sisters. Like Nazi Germany, the tyrannical side of this war has been oppressing and tormenting the other because of a certain skin color they possess. Even if you haven’t participated in this act of evil, you are almost as bad as the oppressors themselves because of your bystander tendencies. We have all been watching a war and blew it off because our privilege filtered out everything that didn’t have to do with travel plans, new clothes, or boy problems.

I’m ashamed to admit that a viral video of a man being asphyxiated is what it took for me to use my privilege for protecting natural rights when I should have begun from my very first US History class.

We built the nation on a foundation of democracy to protect ourselves from the very tyrant that currently sits on a throne of blood. Blood from the many protestors who sought only their god given rights for themselves, their families, and their children. Blood from young black men and women who’d done no wrong and were victims of a poorly managed justice system. Blood even from the law officers being beaten by opportunists during the protests.

Pity on those of us who were witnesses to these unspeakable horrors and stood by while an evil crept into the country. If the country woke up sooner, maybe the lives now lost would be fighting with us today.

Nevertheless, I have learned not to dwell on the past which is why I am proud to be a part of a generation that recognizes this dilemma and fights for a new future, even if it means defying their families’ beliefs as well. Like all teenagers in the past, we are learning from the mistakes of our leaders, government officials, adults, and even our parents; the only difference is the extremity of the experience. In other words, Generation Z has the power to find a better way. As we slowly watch our nation walk down the steps of power, our country’s teenagers continue to hold it together with their voices. The truth is, the chaos running amuck right now is not only to demand justice, but to teach us young adults. It’s our nation’s Founding Fathers asking us to be the beacon of hope for the future.

That said, I would never endorse violence, but can you imagine being oppressed for hundreds of years to the point where you are afraid of going for a jog in public? Don’t say you understand because you don’t and never will. We are living in desperate times where we need true leadership to mend the justice system and protect the rights of our black community.

I don’t want to see another name on an instagram story. I don’t want to see any more statistics. The fact of the matter is: if you can do it, vote. Vote the tyrant out.

We are living through a long and hefty chapter of a history book. Now let me ask you something: when our future students finish the chapter on 2020, do you want them to be proud of where they reside, or ashamed of their nation’s past?

Put an end to this war.

Vote.