Silence is violence

Irene Si and Shivani Sethu

The least we can do is educate ourselves, learn how to be anti-racist and support and uplift the Black community.

— senior Sarah Elobaid

Many people are willing to stand by as Black people are repeatedly subject to discrimination, racial profiling and police brutality. They witness the injustices faced by the Black community with the sole consolation that they themselves would never be the perpetrator. Anti-racism is more than that. It’s taking action against racist institutions and joining the fight for equality. It’s about no longer being complacent and staying quiet while racially-fueled aggressions occur right in front of our eyes. With the current degree of racial prejudice and inequality in the world, simply not contributing to the problem isn’t enough.

“If it doesn’t impact [them], people have a tendency to think, ‘It doesn’t impact me, I don’t want to do anything.’ You have to change this mindset and do things for other people before doing things for yourself,” junior Isis Holmes said. “We need to come together as a community, build relationships and want to do good.”

Black Lives Matter is not a trend. This is a nation-wide issue that resides in the deep-seated prejudices of the country. Although it may seem near impossible to make a real difference, change always starts with those brave enough to take initiative. 

“I think as teens we need to participate in civic actions like lobbying and petition signing. We can still influence lawmakers and politicians even though we are not eligible to vote,” senior Sarah Elobaid said. “The least we can do is educate ourselves, learn how to be anti-racist and support and uplift the Black community during these pressing times.”

Many Chantilly students have taken it upon themselves to help combat racism. From organizing and attending protests to simply being educated on the problems faced by Black Americans, their efforts have helped continue the conversation of political and social justice issues in our society.  

“Engage in educated conversations with other people and actually try to learn about what’s happening. There are so many clubs provided by the school and students should get involved so they can interact and learn from each other,” Holmes said. “Join minority-focused clubs, like Asian Student Association and Black Student Association. I just joined Asian Student Association even though I’m the only non-Asian person there because I’m committed to learning. Encourage others to do the same, and there’s going to be good karma that comes out of that.”