Read our Black Lives Matter issue, the first of the 2020-21 school year.
Letter from the Editor
By Deanna Albohn
Breonna Taylor. George Floyd. Sandra Bland. Ahmaud Arbery. Atatiana Jefferson. Tamir Rice. Brayla Stone. Philando Castille. Trayvon Martin. The list goes on and on.
After Breonna Taylor was killed by Louisville police in her home on March 13th, her family got exactly what they wished for — for the world to remember her name. As her story went viral on social media, “Breonna Taylor” became a meme and a punchline. The call to action “Arrest the cops who killed Breonna Taylor” has been turned into a gimmicky catchphrase — used for unrelated Instagram photo captions, Twitter memes and even as a TikTok song to dance to. Small businesses are also using her name and face to make for-profit merchandise, like face masks and graphic t-shirts.
Are these memes bringing attention to her death or just trivializing the murder of an innocent Black woman? There are so many ways to raise awareness without making a commodity of her murder. Call your representatives, donate, take to the streets.
We’re reminded every day of all the injustices, tragedies and pain happening around the world. We’re force-fed gruesome videos in the name of “staying up to date” and have to watch a death toll tracker every time we turn on the TV.
As awful as these things are, I, as a non-BIPOC, have the privilege of staying informed rather than experiencing these injustices firsthand. It is the bare minimum for me to learn and talk to my friends and family because I will never live through it. It is our duty as journalists and storytellers to call attention to the violent acts of racism and white supremacy that plague our country, uplift Black voices and highlight the Black Lives Matter protests and demonstrations by the people dedicated to making change.
On top of activism, we need to remember to take care of ourselves.
I’ve been living the exact same day for five months — wake up, make breakfast, stare at the ceiling for five to nine hours. Every day blurs together. One minute it’s Monday morning and the next it’s Saturday afternoon and I haven’t done a single thing.
I know I’m not the only one who’s been stricken with a lack of motivation and laziness. I thought I would use the time to do everything I’ve been putting off, but most days I can’t even bring myself to get out of bed — let alone open my computer.
It may be hard to put a positive spin on things now — harder than it’s been for many of us in the past. But you’ve survived everything you have ever been through — no matter how big or small — so what’s one more challenging semester?
I’m trying to pass time and ease my brain into a better mindset by painting. It’s something I’ve always loved to do, but stopped for so long because I wasn’t “good” at it. It’s forced me out of my comfort zone and sparked the creativity I thought I had lost. It’s also been difficult to see friends and loved ones in person, so mailing pen pal letters back and forth has given me small things to look forward to — which is what life is all about.
I am so excited to see you all — from a distance — this fall.