Column by Alana Sundermann
You would think by the year of 2020 we would have flying cars, a cure for cancer or maybe even free college but instead the world today is facing a pandemic, a climate crisis and the inequality of our criminal justice system.
The United States today follows a structure that was created over 200 hundred years ago with little to no change in the system. We as a society have advanced in technology, medicine and so much more, so why have we failed to advance in the system? While society has changed in the ways of equality, there is still injustice occurring. The system is deeply rooted with generational trauma of all kinds and the people who face the most trauma in America are those of diverse communities, especially those of Black communities.
On March 13 three officers of the Louisville Metro Police Department broke into the home of 26-year-old Breonna Taylor and her boyfriend, Kenneth Walker. The officers rapidly fired more than 25 bullets, fatally striking Taylor eight times according to ABC news. The officers attempted this raid looking for Breonna’s ex-boyfriend, Jamarcus Glover, who had been using her address to traffic drugs. Taylor was studying to become a licensed EMT and worked on the front lines during the beginning stages of the COVID-19 pandemic.
On April 27 an official wrongful death lawsuit was filed against the officers of the Louisville Police Department, and the public quickly showed its support with multiple people advocating through social media and attending peaceful protests to bring justice to Taylor’s killers.
However, on Sept. 23, the Kentucky grand jury dismissed the case with no charges pressed against the officers who killed Breonna Taylor. Unfortunately, Taylor’s case is not the first of its kind and I fear that it won’t be the last either. As I grow older, I have started to learn and develop perceptions of the world around me today and here is what I see:
I see the injustice of our system and the unequal opportunities for those in diverse communities. I see the divide between people of a different race, a different gender, a different sexuality and even a different social economic status. I see pain; I see hate; I see death.
Despite the times, I do see hope. I do believe that change is possible, and that change is near. I do see communities coming together to fight for the rights of people who deserve justice. I see the beginning stages of unity occurring, and I’m hopeful.
People like Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, Elijah McClain, Jacob Black and countless others all deserve to be recognized, they all deserve justice, they all deserved to live out their lives, live out their dreams and be accepted and recognized for who they were.
They year of 2020 may have brought a lot of pain, hate, and death but 2020 also brought out the truth, our strength and our unity and as we move forward, the questions we all should be asking ourselves is what do I stand for? What do I believe in? And how do we create change for a better future?