As the JJSE community celebrated Gratitude Day during Thanksgiving week, student leaders organized the peers to take a photo showing solidarity with the family of Michael Brown, and since then they have been meeting several times a week to talk about how they want to take action, and reaching out to students at other San Francisco high schools.
This week, tenth grader Marianna Baines shared some thoughts with the school community about the recent killings of people of color by police. Here are some excerpts from her remarks:
I believe race is something to divide us, to keep us in line so the government knows how to deal with us. I also believe race is not the problem. I myself have many friends of different races, who’ve I’ve grown up with and also speak today with. We do not see the issue in the color of our skin– the system does, the sub oppressors do…
We have to turn the other cheek, because without forgiveness we can not move on as people . We have to unify ourselves system and all, and without peace and love and compassion we can not teach them new ways, that do not involve racism, homicide or injustice. We have to be the better people and stand for what we believe in, but using 3 key traits– love, compassion and peace. Do not grow angry and violent because of injustice, grow passion to fight without fists and weapons, but with heart and non insulting words, but only words of wisdom and leadership. With this we can win any fight that the system has brought because what they do not know is, we are fighting for us all to be equal, them included.
Micheal Brown’s life is important, Emmett Till’s life is important, Eric Garner’s life is important– so important that we should stand together to bring them justice and the right to be important like people of many other races whose lives were cut short…. No child should be shot down by someone who hated them for no other reason but race. But we must not grow angry from such actions. Please remember this when you see such injustice everyday: Please do not grow angry, do not be violent, just use passion and change this way and make things better.