The Power of Protest

Photo provided by lives change (Wall of Human resistance)

Photo provided by lives change (Wall of Human resistance)

Kayla Mitchell, Staff Writer

Colin Kaepernick, a former quarterback for the 49ers, took a knee every time the national anthem was belted out at their games. After the media began to bring this protest of racial injustice to light, other NFL players began to follow his lead.

Many people around the United States misinterpreted his action as disrespectful to the country. His right to kneel may have sparked controversy, but it displayed how powerful a protest can be.

At Da Vinci Communications, students have the opportunity to express themselves through various mediums because of their constitutional rights. That is an aspect of why DVC is “different” our authorities don’t degrade students because of their personal beliefs. If they did, students wouldn’t have the opportunity to create or access to all of the unique unions on campus.

Deepti Immaraju, the 12th grade English and Strategic Communications teacher at DVC, recently assigned a project to the senior class revolving around exercising rights as an American citizen. The First Amendment gives citizens freedom of speech, the right to petition, and most importantly the right to peacefully assemble.

“A lot of constitutional issues that students discussed in their government class were really examining rights and conflict. When one right is potentially more important than another right,” she said.

The First Amendment applies to everyone in America, however, strong opinions can take a toll on this right. When describing his feelings toward the white supremacist march in Charlottesville, Virginia, the current president of the United States said the march was, “repugnant to everything we hold dear as Americans.” He spoke of the movement started by Colin Kaepernick, stating, “I was ashamed at what was taking place.”

Because of Trump’s statements on the movement, hundreds of NFL players across the nation took that knee, ultimately bringing more awareness to the issue.

A debate that has sparked many controversies is whether protesting is as effective as people claim it to be. There have been a number of events where protests were ineffective, but there’s been much more that has changed the face of America today.

One of the biggest and most impactful protests in America was the March on Washington for jobs and freedom. This march is famously known for the “I Have a Dream” speech Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. executed in front of the Lincoln Memorial.

The Civil Rights Movement was one of the most successful historical moment that this nation has been through. In this movement, African-Americans realized that they should have the same amount of rights as everyone else in this country. Through sit-ins, marches, boycotts, etc, their voices finally brought them the awareness they needed.

Without this movement, America would not be the same as we know it today. More than 200,000 people marched on that day and fought for their rights. That march prompted America to finally realize the bigger issues facing the African-American community and gradually began to change.

A protest doesn’t have to be a multitude of people in order for it to be successful. It only takes one person and their call to action, then people will eventually begin to accompany the vision.

DVC strives to make students recognize their rights and use their voices to make a change, there are many leaders here who have and will continue to use their First Amendment rights to make this world a better place.

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