Last year was a year of transparency for most. Between a global pandemic, racial tension, political schemes and racial injustices, it’s no secret that it was mentally exhausting. I empathize with those who desire to forget all of the devastating events that occurred in 2020, but that’s simply not an option.
Everyone is so determined to move on and forget all of the bad things that happened last year, but the only relatively new thing was the COVID-19 pandemic. We’ve seen incidents similar to the deaths of George Floyd and Ahmaud Arber, in 2012 with Trayvon Martin and in 2014 with Eric Garner.
It wasn’t news to the Black community that white people and police officers could get away with murdering innocent Black people, because it’s been happening for years.
“A lot of people are blind to what’s been going on,” Janai Moss, a sophomore at Florida A&M University said. “2020 was necessary to show everyone that this is really the world that we are living in. It’s up to us to change it.”
History repeated itself numerous times over the course of last year, all while setting new records and introducing a lot of new ways that we went about our daily lives. Nonetheless, we continued to see how Black people are constantly neglected and disrespected by this country. It only took a global pandemic for us to sit down long enough to realize how bad things had gotten.
We’ve marched and protested, but still didn’t see significant change. It’s as if everyone woke up one morning and went back to their regularly scheduled program. If we don’t take an active interest in the problems within our country, how can we ever expect anything to change for the better? We have to be willing to acknowledge issues, how they came about, find a solution and try our best to make sure that it never happens again.
Unfortunately, we live in a society where many don’t want to accept fault for their actions whether they were intentionally, or unintentionally harmful to others. It’s our responsibility to hold them accountable for their actions. It’s our responsibility to take an active interest in the welfare of our country.
Alberts Einstein once said “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.” Any American would be insane to think they can ignore the tragic and horrific events of 2020 and expect the world to change for the better.
We saw how much of an influence we made in the November election and the recent senate run off elections in Georgia. Those are just baby steps compared to the work that should be done with restoring order in this country.
Freeman Stoddard, a recent Clemson University graduate, feels people are in too quick of a rush to return to a sense of normalcy.
“I think a lot of people want to go back to a time where they felt comfortable ignoring the news,” Stoddard said. “It all comes down to no one wants to take the blame. They will defend themselves and wash their hands of a situation.”
The elephant has gotten too big to fit into the room anymore.
We owe it to those who tragically lost their lives in 2020 to keep fighting to truly make America “the land of the free and the home of the brave.”
Cami Mondeaux, a senior at Westminster College in Salt Lake City, believes we should address 2020 head on.
“I think we should walk away from 2020, but I don’t think we should forget about it. Several of our conflicts were caused because we wanted to pretend they weren’t happening. That’s not the solution. We need to address 2020. Dissect it. Never forget it and learn from it,” Mondeaux said.