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America Is Changing

Written by James Powers Sr. Staff Writer

As we see daily in the news or on social media, our country is changing in a way that it has seen before. Throughout history, people have taken their message to the streets. Whether it was when the country was founded, or when the country went to war with itself. The people have always had the ability and the right to protest in this country. The phrase I used, "The People" did not always include everyone born within the confines of this country.
"On March 6, 1857, in Dred Scott v. Sandford, the United States Supreme Court ruled that black people were not American citizens and could not sue in courts of law. The Court ruled against Dred Scott, an enslaved black man who tried to sue for his freedom." (Madeo,2018)
Imagine being born and raised in this country, yet you are not a citizen and only property. In essence, you are not even looked upon as a person, and your family can be bought and sold at will. It wasn't until The Civil Rights Act of 1866 made African American people "Full" U.S. Citizens. Even then, it was not recognized nationwide, so the Government had to make the 14th Amendment to grant "Full" U.S. citizenship. As we have seen, though, that did not constitute full rights. So yet again, another amendment was made in 1870, which was the 15th that gave African American males the right to vote.
 So in thirteen years, a lot had changed for the black community. The real question is, what changed? Jim Crowe Laws ran rampant, there was the development of separate but "equal," and segregation became a way of life. Many atrocities happened to go on for years, and even to this day. It was not a fight that people of color had to fight alone, though others started to help with the cause. During these times, the U.S. saw an upswing in not only expansion but in people coming to this country.
 One of the largest groups of people in the United States for the abolition of slavery was the Quakers. The Quakers were staunch in the American colonies and the new country, but also throughout Europe. These were some of the first white people who took up any defense against slavery and saw people as simply that, people. As settlers came into the country from Europe, they too began to fight against the injustices. Soon the Irish and Asian people were seen by many as having as much worth as a slave. Many were slaves themselves, and so were their families. It took the mass influx of these people entering the country, along with African Americans, to stand out against oppression. Nothing of their actions happened overnight, but their efforts spread amongst the people, and the people stood up and demanded a change.
 Today, many people of my age (Generation X) have heard the stories of the Civil Rights Movements of the 1960s, and we have seen many changes in our lives. We are now at a crossroad in our life as the new incoming leaders to finally make more significant changes in our society and Government. So far, we have created a start, but we need to go even harder. We are the Generation that would not be quiet, and we are the Generation who wanted to make the world better. We need to quit talking and start doing! Let us lead the way for the younger Generations; let us show them that their voices mean something. Let us show them that they do not need to act out in violence, but instead, they need to unite and stand firm. We need to bridge gaps and set aside petty differences to form a perfect Union.
 What we see in much of the media today is violence, civil unrest, and borderline anarchy. These methods will not lead to a positive change; these methods will lead to the downfall of a nation. Our children will not know of freedom, and they will instead know of suffering beyond those of our past. Look at human history for the answers, not at what we are force-fed. History can be dark and painful, but it is from dark times and pain that we, as a human race, thrive. We learn not so much from success, but our failures. John F. Kennedy once said the famous quote, "Ask not what your country can do for YOU, ask what YOU can do for your country." These words spoke during the heart of the Civil Rights Movement. President Kennedy wanted Americans to make the change, not the power of the Government. Remember our Government is supposed to be by the people for the people. If we let things go unchecked as they have for years, we wind up where we are today.
 Everyone who this reaches, I hope that the one thing that we all have in common is that we want a better tomorrow. I am not talking just for ourselves, but for humanity as a whole. Take the time to reach out to your neighbor, talk to your friends, and be kind to one another. 


Reference

Madeo. (2018). Mar. 6, 1857: Supreme Court Rules Black People Are Not Citizens. Retrieved
June 19, 2020, from https://calendar.eji.org/racial-injustice/mar/6



Life Beyond Calamity  

Written by James Powers- Staff Writer 
06/01/2020

On May 25, 2020 a citizen of the United States and resident of Minneapolis had wrongfully lost his life as the World watched. George Floyd is the man who most of us have seen now
who lost his life as an officer sworn to protect and serve took his life. At the moment the
video was uploaded, America took notice. People from all walks of life have stepped up
to support and have made an outcry for justice.  Actions taken in the video have
become commonplace every walk of life in our country that our forefathers fought so hard to provide.
Many citizens who feel the need for change have taken to their cities and towns to
protest these actions. We, as the Nation, support making a change. We will not stand
for this type of senseless brutality by our enforcers and protectors of the law. Most of the
people who are outraged at the actions of not just those in this video, but those who have
quietly for too long gone unpunished are making their voices heard through peaceful
protests. The Right to protest is an American right and should be exercised just like any
other Right.
Right now as I am typing this, Indianapolis has a protest going on right at the
Governors' front door. The police are marching with protesters as they move towards their
final location. Police and the community coming together to make American Society
work as a licit society. We need more actions like this to happen around the country.
Police should not be in fear of their brothers and sisters in blue for speaking out
against atrocities. Police officers are members of our society; they are also human beings, just like the rest of us.
The actions of a few corrupt and horrible people should not define the entire
Justice System. Those exact words should also apply to the citizens of this country
in every state. We are not a Nation divided and separated by colors; we are a
A nation of people. Regardless of race, sex, religion, or anything else, we are human
beings. As human beings in this Nation, we all have one goal: to live our lives
and enjoy our Freedoms. When those Freedoms and Lives dismissed as not salient,
we all need to stand together as the citizens of Indianapolis did today. My family and I are
proud today to be called a Hoosier. I Hope and Pray for the sake of this great Nation that
the people across this land use this protest as a model for future ways to do things in the
right direction. Stop the violence and destruction, and we have enough of that with a corrupt
system. This is not the time to be fighting one another. It is time that WE STAND UP
AND HAVE OUR VOICES HEARD! WE ARE ONE NATION!