Say Their Names



Artwork created by @shirien.creates on Instagram. Rest in peace George, Breanna, and Ahmaud. We will continue to fight for you.

Sasha Legagneur, Editor-in-Chief

Will Smith once said, “Racism is not getting worse. It’s getting filmed.” Racial prejudice has always existed in the United States of America.From slavery,lynching, segregation,police brutality, and all those racially motivated acts of behavior that go unrecorded, black people in America have always endured tremendous hardships. Some people are under the misconception that the end of certain practices meant the end of racism . Being allowed to vote and not being forced into labor did not end systematic oppression.The ability to go to the same school or use the same restroom as someone of a different race did not ensure equality. Injustice has always been served to people of color. The only difference now is that with the popularity of the media, the public is more aware.  It is easy to deny something when there is no evidence. But to deny or make excuses for behavior that is right before your eyes is simply insulting.Every number has a name, and every name has a story. As hard as it may be to accept that these issues are prevalent in 2020,  it is an issue we must face head on. When will it end? When is enough, enough? How many brothers and sisters have to be murdered before we accept the immediacy of the issue?How many more lives have to be taken from this world for people to see this is not okay?  

Between the months of March 2020 to May 2020, there have been three cases in particular that have shifted attention to the racial situation in America. These include the the murder of Breanna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and George Floyd.

Breanna Taylor was only 26 years old. She was an aspiring nurse and an EMT worker.On the night of March 13,2020,  she was shot and killed by a police officer in her apartment in Louisville, Kentucky. The police were searching for two individuals who were involved in a drug related crime which Miss Taylor had absolutely no connection to. The true man the police were looking for had already been caught. The officers were allowed a no-knock warrant, meaning that they could enter her residence without announcement. Although the police say they made their presence known, Breanna’s boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, along with  neighbors of the couple,claim they did not. . As a response to what the couple thought was a break- in, Taylor’s boyfriend shot an officer in the leg.Then, the police fired back and shot Breanna Taylor eight times. Read that again. This innocent woman had eight bullets lodged into her because of a crime she did not even commit. Taylor’s boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, was arrested and charged with first degree assault and attempted murder. The three officers, on the other hand, were simply reassigned. But there’s no double standard, right? Say her name, remember her story.

Breanna Taylor, a 26 year old EMT worker who was shot and killed when police barged into her home. Image credit to ‘urban’

Ahmaud Arbery was a 25 year old man who decided to go for a jog on February 25,2020. While jogging in a neighborhood in South Georgia,  two males pursued him with a truck. Travis McMichaels then came out with a shotgun, which Arbery and him wrestled with. He was a black adult male; he knew how these situations went; he knew that the two men did not simply want to ‘ have a talk’; he knew their intention. Ahmaud Arbery was shot three times, and died. The white men in question stated that they believed Arbery resembled a person who was responsible for multiple break-ins in the community.No proof, no evidence, no true reason. Some people will try and use this as an excuse. This, however, is simply adding to the injustice. To them, Ahmaud Arbery was just another black man who fit the bill for the incorrect image certain individual’s paint in their minds of African Americans. It took over two months for the men involved in Ahmaud Arbery’s murder to be arrested. It does not take much to see how the tables would have turned if Ahmaud Arbery had a different skin color. It does not take much to see how soon the arrest would have been made if a black person was holding that weapon. Say his name, remember his story.

Ahead Arbery, a 25 year old young man who was shot and killed while going for a jog. Image credit to ‘’.

George Floyd was a 46 year old male whose life came to an end on May 25,2020. Similar to the video that came out when Ahmaud Arbery was shot, the video showing the events surrounding Floyds death are equally as challenging to watch. George Floyd went to a deli in Minneapolis, Minnesota to buy cigarettes. He was accused of using a forged $20 bill to purchase the item, which prompted a worker at the deli to call the cops. When police arrived, they walked Floyd over to their car. Although Floyd did not fight or use any type of violence towards the police, he was pinned to the ground in handcuffs. While on the ground, an officer dug his knee into Floyd’s neck for nearly nine minutes. The saddening, and now symbolic last words that left Floyd’s lips were “I can’t breathe” . Even when  Floyd was clearly unresponsive, the officer’s knee remained on his neck. There were four officers at the scene. Derek Chauvin, the officer whose knee was on Floyd’s neck ,has been charged with 2nd degree murder. The remaining three have been charged with aiding and abetting 2nd degree murder. Because of the incompetence of a few police officers and the corruption of the system, a six year old girl will have to grow up without her dad. A son will have to live without his father. Say his name, remember his story. 

George Floyd, a 46 year old father whose life was taken away in the hands of the police. Image credit to ‘’.

The murder of George Floyd sparked numerous protests across the United States. Protests began on May 26, 2020 in Minneapolis. By this time, no arrests had been made of any of the four officers. The arrest of Derek Chauvin would not come until May 29,2020.  The remaining three would not be charged until June 3,2020.Although charges have been pressed on all four officers in the George Floyd case, civilians have decided to keep fighting for those who did not have the chance to, even in the midst of a pandemic. Minneapolis, Manhattan, Brooklyn, Los Angeles, West Palm Beach, Philadelphia, Seattle, Atlanta, Orlando, and Miami are just a few of the cities in which protestors have spoken their minds. Across the nation, protests have resulted in fatalities, fires, and looting.It is crucial to understand, however, that many cities and organizers have said that the protests were supposed to be peaceful. A majority of protestors never had the intention of looting or destroying property. 

Protestors fought for change as they walked the streets of Downtown West Palm Beach. Moment captured by Isabel Izquierdo.

A tweet from Randal Telfer expresses a thought on the protests in a phenomenal way. The tweet says, “ You keep saying ‘it’s horrible that an innocent black man was killed, but destroying property has to stop.’ Try saying ‘it’s horrible that property is being destroyed but killing black men has to stop’.” Protests did not begin in hopes that items would be stolen or property would be broken into. Protests arose because black people face oppression in this nation every single day and no one is held accountable for it. Protests began in hopes that although Floyd’s family will never get him back, they may receive some type of justice.

The media has focused so heavily on the violent side of the protests that some beautiful moments have gone unrecognized. In some cities, police have joined protestors in taking a knee. In others, there have been peaceful demonstrations in which civilians lay on the floor, chanting Floyd’s final words, ‘I can’t breathe’. These protests did not erupt for just one man. Across the globe, people have stood for the thousands of lives that have fallen as a result of racial injustice. To Tamla Horford, a mother who went to a sleepover where she was the only black woman and was found dead, this one’s for you. To Trayvon Martin, a boy who was murdered by a police while walking from a convenience store, this one’s for you. To the next generation of black men and women who do not deserve this injustice, you matter, and this is for you.

Protestors in West Palm Beach took a knee in honor of the black men and women that have lost their lives because of institutionalized racism. Moment captured by Isabel Izquierdo.

Mr. Rains, a teacher at Somerset Academy Canyons, shared his feelings about raising an African American son in modern day society by recounting an experience he had with his son at a store.A couple of years ago, he and his family had travelled to Montana around Christmas. His son is ‘all boy’, as he says, and was thrilled when he saw plastic relics of the Old West at a gift store. With $21 in his pocket, his son decided to buy a fake, toy gun. After he purchased it, he took the toy out of its packaging and played with it in the store, waving it around just like any child would. “ I got a fearful buzz and said, ‘ Whatever you do, don’t take that orange piece of the barrel off the gun”, Mr Rain recalls. After this, he couldn’t help but wonder whether he would have had to tell his son this if he were white. He soon advised his son to never let that fake gun leave the house. Being a white man himself, he explains that this would have never crossed his mind as a child. “Every day I am praying that the racial tension in our world will die away before my son is an adult. I pray that we can finally come to a place where we are judged on the content of our character. I pray that I will live to see this happen but more so, I pray that my son will live in a world that sees him as a man first and a black man second. This is the world I am willing to fight to see”. 

There is nothing wrong with being privileged. If you never have to endure the hardships of racial prejudice, count yourself lucky and give thanks. The problem begins when the privilege becomes blinding and those who are not in danger try to victimize themselves. Anyone , regardless of gender or race can struggle with something. No one is saying that hardships are exclusive to black people, but minorities in America are the ones who suffer from institutional oppression and whose lives are threatened because of the color of their skin. 

 We know all lives matter , and that is exactly our point. Every life matters, so stop acting like some don’t.

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