The saying “the youth are our future,” has lost meaning over time as we say it over and over again.
But this millennial generation has given me hope in a time of despair and utter chaos.
Students from the Baton Rouge Youth Coalition, high school students, put together the Wave March for Justice. The BRYC took charge and spearheaded the procession from Wesley United Methodist Church to the State Capitol.
Protestors crowded the steps and area in front of the Capitol, spilling over into surrounded grassy areas, and yet more people showed up. Hundreds, if not a thousand, of people showed up to hear the youth speak words of wisdom, knowledge, and hope beyond their years.
The streets filled with chants of “No justice, no peace. No racist police,” and “Black Lives Matter,” was shouted from protestors who were of different ethnicities and backgrounds. The crowd was made up of all age ranges.
People hugged their friends and family, and together, they walked to the Capitol led by a group of youth that set out to make a difference.
We have marched and protested for years, and I’m not sure if this time it’ll change anything, but the unity of the growing crowd made me realize there might be hope after all.
The youth has awakened and are finally fighting for what’s rightfully theirs – a brighter future.
The youth has stepped up in many ways, coordinating and planning other events in the city.
Unfortunately, hours after the initial youth march, an impromptu protest was created in which the Baton Rouge Police Department, state troopers and the sheriff department showed up. Protestors were ultimately arrested and what was a peaceful protest, quickly turned in to a disorder.
And yet, some of the youth as well as many others, stood their ground at the forefront of it all. Protestors stood up for what they believed was injustice, and stared police in the face.
I don’t believe, and won’t believe, this will deter the youth from speaking up and standing out anymore, however. And I don’t want them to.
We may have fallen short with all of the technology we have, but at the same time, social media has shed a new light on police brutality. I keep seeing social media posts saying: The violence isn’t new. The cameras are. That’s very much true.
We already knew the struggle, but now the world sees it, too.
We not only watch the bloody and violent events unfold before our eyes, but we use these tools to also gather forces.
The youth has awakened and they want to change what’s going on around them so that they are allowed a better future.
I commend the students from the BRYC, as well as many others who showed up to fight for a change. We must hold the men in blue who are public servants, who are supposed to serve and protect our community, we must hold them accountable for their unjust actions.
We must elect leaders who has the community’s best interests at heart, and demand them to step up when they fail to do so.
Most importantly we must build a brighter future for our youth because, after all, the youth is our future.
Photo Credit: Tam Williams