Written By Venus Aradhya, Age 15 Washington, USA
*Based on a true story seen on the news*
Everywhere you go, diversity is inevitable. There is rarely a chance that everybody has
the same thoughts, beliefs, looks, or experiences, yet in the world where we live in, people are condemned once theirs do not fit in with the majority. They live in fear of expression due to the fact that once they do express, people will turn on them for having their own feelings, so they follow the crowd instead. But I believe in expressing, being confident in, and sticking to your beliefs even though others may oppress you.
I roll my windows down and a cold evening breeze with a cinnamon scent sweeps through the car biting at our exposed skin. My friend and I were heading to a protest, a BLM one that is. Excited to show our beliefs and determined to make people understand the severity of the situation, we cheerfully went along. Once we arrive, there are tons of others piled nearby from all ages, genders, identities, and most beautifully, races. Jam-packed, we all huddle like penguins, no space between any of us. Dozens of signs in rainbow shades are held expressing our cares and beliefs against racism. Strongly and surely we chant our dreams to end this injustice. We spend hours in the harsh wind, hundreds of us united by one goal of equality. Everything we did, it was peaceful, no harm or bad intentions. Our steps placed together, we march down the crowded street, setting a constant tempo, many taking notice of our protest.
Although all we desire is for our voices to be heard, for people to finally wake up and smell the coffee, the night didn’t go as planned. With us giving no hate in any way, other crowds join us, not to support, but to hate. They continue to abuse their right of speech to share rude and hurtful comments on what we were fighting for. They ask us trivial questions such as, “why do you even fight for this”, “there is no racism in America”, “Black lives don’t only matter, all lives matter”, and even said things like “Whites also face racism”. They who had never experienced real racism or faced oppression. They who wanted us to get rid of our beliefs and adopt theirs- theirs filled with hate and inequality. While we had peacefully protested in the streets, they bombard our chants with shouts and police unfairly arrest many of us who had done nothing wrong. This wasn’t the first time nor the first issue. No matter what my beliefs, there were always people against me. From racism, to the environment, to sexism and beyond, people denied the issues and continued to suppress my beliefs.
I know I’m not always right, but I’m willing to learn. I’m willing to understand my mistakes and learn what’s really right, but I know that I believe in what’s right for everyone, in equality for the benefit of humans and our planet. But so many who dissent against me and people with my beliefs are selfish and want to see others hurt. Many say to ignore and accept their opinions but I refuse to accept the opinions that are harmful and hateful towards others for no reason. I can’t listen to those who tell me to respect all opinions if those opinions are hurting others to extents that they will never understand. I may be young and in a minority, but I refuse to stay quiet about my beliefs and encourage others to voice out theirs as well. A consensus is nearly impossible in the human race, but I believe that no matter what, no one should be afraid to share their beliefs as they are what define us.