How Young People Can Be the Change They Want to See

 By: Jae’Don Johnson 

Imagine waking up every day, being an African American, and seeing other people who look like you get beaten by police – officers that supposedly are to protect and serve. Seeing innocent people getting their lives taken because of their color just sickens me. To think that lives are being taken because of someone’s belief that blacks are dangerous or don’t deserve the same rights. 

I used to wonder “Do they get satisfaction from killing another person? that really satisfying”? Now I just think it’s because people are afraid of the potential that people of color have. Mentally bringing us down, by taking away the things that matter the most to our community, because they are afraid we may rise up and their control will be gone. 

I look at it like this, Let’s say you have two groups of cops. One includes 100 good cops that actually protect people and only shoot when necessary.  The other includes 10 bad cops who use excessive force against people of color.  You now have 110 bad cops because the good cops aren’t doing anything about the 10 that are misusing their power. If they don’t acknowledge and help change the wrongs that have been committed by other officers, they have no right to say they are protectors of the law. 

Although it may be hard, we need to be peaceful, violence isn’t the only way to solve this, and many people use our anger and violence as an excuse not to change. Looting from stores is taking away from everyone, so we’re only hurting ourselves. Looting businesses like Target, Best Buy, and other stores are taking money away from employees because they can not work, get paid and care for their families. 

This isn’t fair, but right now, we don’t have equal rights and a fair system.  We need a leader that believes in equality, that will listen to people and actually work to make things like schools, job opportunities and the justice system fair for everybody.  To do this, everyone needs to participate and vote.  If that happens, we can have a president that actually wants to help people and establish peace among us. 

Right now, President Trump is causing more hatred than peace, and our country is falling apart. After that, we need to build a new police force that actually protects families and helps people no matter their race or color. This will take laws that hold police accountable for their actions, re-training the officers on how to follow the new rules and enforcement of those rules.

 Racists want to control what they are afraid of. I wanted to do my part by writing this article to get people my age to realize that we can do way more for our people. One way is by helping out family, friends, or even strangers that aren’t doing so well. Everyone that doesn’t realize that inequality exists and is a problem needs to know now!  Spreading awareness throughout all neighborhoods, cities and states will bring everyone together and no amount of police force can stop that. We have potential and contribute to our society.  We have contributed through inventions, science, culture and building the country. 

As young people we can bring awareness to others and support the change through applying knowledge.  Some ways to do that are: 1) Learn about laws that are being voted on and talk to our family and friends about what we think is best,  2) take care of business in school so that we can use what we learn in politics and other ways to make change and 3) make sure you are responsible, trustworthy and the change we want to see.  We will make it through together if we work together.Let us fight this battle together, people of all ages can help and together we will be free.

My name is Jae’Don Johnson, from Vallejo, California. I am a rising 9th grader, that previously attended Kipp Bridge Academy in Oakland CA. I will be transitioning into high school at Kipp King Collegiate High School located in San Lorenzo, CA. next fall.

I completed my middle school year with a 3.2 GPA, and have been recognized with various awards that includes the Principal Award and Honor Roll.

My goals for the future is to attend Fort Valley State University in Fort Valley, Georgia and become a graphic designer.

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