As COVID-19 cases continue to grow and stagger in America, teenagers and young adults find themselves confused as to what the future holds for them. This past month, we did an interview with the youth to hear how they’re reflecting on current events and their school year. Destiny Casey, a graduating senior, tells us about her thoughts on her adjustment to life at this time.
“I’m trying to be safe. Older people could die from it and I just want to be cautious of everyone around me. I [was] very nervous because [graduation was] different this year and I [didn't] know what to expect,” Casey said. “With traditional graduations, you know what to expect, but now it’s all different. Imma just go and walk the stage, take pictures with the people I like at school, and then go home."
Although there was a lack of tradition for the class of 2020's ceremony, there was an increasing trend for students to kneel, raise their fists, sit down in honor of the black lives matter movement, and in protest to America's racist system.
"I sat down [during graduation]. So many black lives have been lost and there haven't been any repercussions for the officers involved. There needs to be reform," Casey said. "People don't understand that we are fighting for our lives. This is not something we are playing around about."
Throughout major media outlets, recurring news of protests, Coronavirus cases, and surfacing videos of police brutality continue to circulate day to day. It’s become harder to pinpoint the lasting effects of COVID-19 and authoritative enforcement, but to Michael McAllister, he finds it easy to see our internal issues even in the midst of constant change. Over the phone, we chatted with McAllister as he opened up with us about his experience since the beginning of quarantine.
"Things have changed a lot since quarantine began, and I've been online a lot more due to the protests. Social media has helped keep me informed, especially with mass media often portraying different narratives," McAllister said. "There's always been a clear system of abuse and racism upheld in America, and now more than ever, people have the time and resources available to stay informed."
Because of the slow pace that quarantine has given us, we are able to see a collective perspective- a picture that reveals the blatant ignorance and neglect against the black community. So far, 33 percent of black people have been affected by COVID-19, and on top of that, the consistent slaughter among black lives- LGBT folks, the youth, and everyone in between, has continued.
"White people such as myself are put in a huge place of privilege and need to help every way they can without silencing and diminishing the voice of black organizers leading this revolution," McAllister said."I think people are becoming a lot more aware of the authoritarian state we live in as a country and I hope these movements we're seeing continue to grow and strengthen."