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Arianna Messex (Developmental Assembly Lead)

Give Me Liberty

Written on June 8, 2020 by Arianna Messex

Give me liberty, or give me death.

- Patrick Henry (March 23, 1775)

Those famous words that convinced Virginia to join the Revolutionary War, sum up what America means to me. Our country was born from riots and protests. I remember learning in grade school about the tar and feathering of British tax collectors and the Sons of Liberty dumping tea in the harbor. And the riots didn't end with the birth of this country. Martin Luther King Jr. lead several peaceful protests to fight for equal rights for black Americans. After he was assassinated, riots broke out in over 100 American cities, leading to $47M in damages and more importantly the Civil Rights Act of 1968. In 1992 People took to the streets after a trial jury acquitted four officers of the Los Angeles Police Department for the use of excessive force in the arrest and beating of Rodney King, an incident eerily similar to what brought riots to our streets in 2020.

Our country is not used to wars being fought on our soil. We have detached ourselves from violence, war, and anything that makes us feel like we are unsafe. But, that doesn't mean these things aren't still happening. Our country is at war constantly half way across the globe, we obtained this land from the Native Americans through bloodshed, this country is built on the back of slaves, we deny immigrants attempting to flee certain death at the border daily. But now that people are looting your local target you are astonished at the injustice? Things can be replaced, lives cannot.

Riots and protests make people feel uncomfortable and scared and that is the point. History has showed us time and time again, if people aren't being treated fairly by their government, it is our American right to raise hell and demand change. When we knelt with Colin Kaepernick they told us that wasn't the right way to be heard, when we started the Black Lives Matter movement, we were told that wasn't the right way. And now we are outraged, grief-stricken, and demanding to be heard because the system we are protesting against will never find a right way for us to be heard.

History is repeating itself, are you on the right side?

Geno Rosario

Yes! Love this.

Posted on 2020-06-08 16:46:38
Donald Kinghorn

I am old enough that as a young boy I witnessed the civil rights movement and the wonderful work of Martin Luther King Jr. ... Witnessing injustice never leaves you!
My biggest sadness is that "History is repeating itself". ...time for action again

Posted on 2020-06-08 17:53:22
Ken Fordyce

I think all the agitators who signed the Declaration of Independence probably expected a population willing to take to the streets. People were out and about a lot more, from childhood owards. They went to church, to tavern, and to buy or sell in the next town. But there is a diifference between a violent riot and a protest. It is unwise to force a policeman or a soldier to be your enemy. The most effective movements give the individuals on the other side a chance to disengage or change sides. At this moment, it is military leaders and the Republican elite who are actually directly holding Trump's insanity at bay. In history, there are no "right" sides, Trump constantly turns his own aides into enemies. Unfortunately, he has a voter base that has isolated themselves from the broader world. Violence and excesive "rightness" will only alllow him to preserve his base.

Posted on 2020-06-12 22:55:24