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If I Could Say Anything

The lack of uproar is astounding, and quite honestly I am disappointed. Who am I to be disappointed, but if I am to be frank, the last three years of my life have created a kind of jealousy. A fit of jealousy that can only be shared with people who politically and socially are fed up. Not just fed up internally, but the ones that either take to the streets or to the pen with their emotions and possible resolutions.

I have a hard time calling Berkeley High School a politically active institution due to the social laziness we seem to cradle so effortlessly. The kind of anger that sparks a walkout is only had for two or three days, and this kind of attitude towards change is not gearing us up for a future any different than the past.

I am disappointed not only in myself, but in my generation’s attention span. As a whole, we seem to be more distracted with cell phones and nicotine than we could ever be with civil issues.

I want to have more faith in society in general, but just look at the progressiveness of Berkeley. We have watched coffee shops and unnecessary clothing stores take priority over affordable food and lower-income housing. What does this tell the people in need of these resources?

I have come to the personal conclusion that although Berkeley was idolized on this idea of free speech and free choice, it’s necessary to be aware that the success of these movements are due to the race of those demanding change

Since the 1800s, Berkeley’s census has reported more than half of the population to be white. The people living in this area have always been white, so it is no wonder they were listened to.

Civil disobedience should not be a social activity, it should be a second to last resort, and yet walkouts and protests are no more than a photoshoot for many. The Pride Parade is a good example of a civil rights act being taken by the population and being turned into a social affair. People that do not identify with the LGBTQ+ community dancing and parading at an event that is meant to not only uplift the community, but also call attention to heteronormativity is counter-intuitive. Straight people should continue to attend, but they should not help turn it into a party. People risked their lives and well-beings for the gay liberation movement, as well as the trans liberation movement, so the least we could do is honor and respect their legacy with some solid civil disobedience.

Berkeley has a narrative it is trying so hard to maintain, but I wonder if the next few generations will want to continue this legacy. Will we get so wound up in our high school dramas that we forget that the world will continue to change? In 2016 I saw worry and anger in the eyes of every student that I passed on my way to Sproul Plaza. I wonder where that look went.

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