On May 26, 2017 three men defended two girls on a MAX train from a man who screamed racist and Islamophobic slurs. Rick Best and Taliesin Myrddin Namkai Meche died as heroes, while Micah Fletcher survived after defending innocent girls who were only trying to get to their destination. This hatred has become more vocal due to our current political situation.
This is not saying that it didn’t exist before 2017, but it’s just become easier for people to say or do horrible things because someone’s ethnicity, culture, or religion is different than their own.
Bigotry is something that is dividing society, and the sad part is that it’s something that can be reversed. Bigotry is taught out of ignorance. Jeremy Joseph Christian is just an example of how far someone’s pure hate can reach. A memorial was created to remember the 2 men who lost their lives, and to unite the community. Almost all of the messages written involved loving one another, and fighting against hate of any kind. Coming to a memorial like this is incredibly emotional, and multiple people did show their feelings about this random act of violence. This memorial also brought so many diverse groups together. Unity is the best word to describe it
The combination of new and wilted flowers, candle wax, posters, and messages written in chalk created something beautiful but heartbreaking. I was nearly brought to tears because of the knowledge that innocent people died here for defending others.
As someone who has dealt with racism throughout my life, this hit me much harder than I would have imagined. What if I was in a situation like that when I was going to the store? What if I could have died almost like those girls because of the color of my skin? I have personally never experienced being hated for my religion, but I do relate to being hated because of who I am. This has always bothered me. Why must society always constantly be divided? It seems that we’re only united as a people when a tragedy like this happens.
We can prevent things like this from happening if we punish people who hate others for no reason. Common racism or Islamophobia or any other kind of random act of violence needs to be addressed. This brought on multiple discussions towards race and fighting against racism and brought on talk of improving our resources to help the mentally ill. Some people think that Christian was mentally ill, while others think that he was fully aware of his actions and did out of hatred. Hatred is not a mental illness. It is something you are taught. It’s also something that can be unlearned.
I sadly have a feeling that this event will be quickly forgotten, just like the girls who were picked on for no reason. I took these pictures because I had a big need to document such a big thing like this. I don’t want this event to be forgotten. Let’s hope it doesn’t.
Words and Photos by Jo Agard
Photos from yesterday’s Moving Up Assembly.
“The Season of Childhood”
Beautiful orbs reflect vibrant rainbows
break only to reveal
lost summer night whispers
and the fading light of dusk.
The air is cool, dry, and dancing
The trees join in the slow waltz
To the music of rustling branches
And the drifting of the clouds.
I can see the sunset through the spheres,
A window to my memories.
I can hear the laughter and shouts
Of my friends and I in my old backyard.
Sun-kissed smiles and melted otter pops
The thudding of sandals on pavement
Grass stains and bubblegum pink nails
All the joys of that season of my life
I still watch the bubbles float by out my window
Taken by the wind, far away.
When my eyes close, I can feel it all,
The summer nights, the warm air, the toothy grins
Of childhood all over again.
Poetry by Dani O’Keefe
Image by Jo Agard
The excitement leading up to this day and during it is something I wish I could experience over and over again. Concerts are my favorite place.The first time I ever attended a concert I was 12 years old and it was an Austin Mahone concert. Since then I’ve tried to increase the amount of concerts I go to each year. The people I’ve met through these concerts have impacted my life in a way that I can not describe, they have become some of my best friends. I would have never thought that would happen because I had never intended for that I just go with the intention to focus on having a good time and making sure I don’t pass out in the middle of a crowd. It’s amazing being at a concert and experiencing it with thousands of people you do not know but in that time you all have one thing in common and it is that one artist, I once heard this saying that said you can have one person singing out a song to thousands of people and every single one of them will sing it right back to you for a different reason and that is the beauty of concerts.
My favorite concerts are the more intimate ones, small venues and besides the hot room with hundreds of sweaty people those are the ones you will most likely find me at. Smaller up and coming artists are my favorite artists, they make those shows better because there’s not as many people such as arena tours. You feel more closer and I feel as if those make you feel more aware of everything going on, not just for the artist but for yourself. I recently attended a concert on Thursday and I waited for hours with my best friends and in that moment I remember saying I hated the waiting part of concerts but I know that if I was given the chance to do it all over again I would, just for that excitement and anticipation for the show.
The emotion that comes out of it when it’s over is sadness, in that moment you don’t realize how fast it goes by. You focus on that one moment so much that when it’s over you feel as if you have nothing to look forward to, and that’s also the same reason why I keep finding myself going back to concerts. A lot of people tell me it’s quite stupid of me to pay to see someone for only a couple of hours but the thing is they aren’t really aware of the friendships and memories that go with it, I have a memory box filled with concert tickets, pictures or anything that has to do with concerts and on my worst days or days when i’m not feeling all that great I look back at the box and it reminds me of some of my best memories. Concerts aren’t for everyone and some people don’t enjoy them at all, but for me I love them. I’ve heard so many stories and even have friends who have even traveled to different places just to see their favorite artists, although the farthest concert I will be attending is in Seattle next month it’s still something.
Concerts give you this rush that I wish every single person in the world could experience, concerts are my favorite memories and my favorite experiences to talk about and my best friendships were made at them as well. Despite the many bruises I walk out with if I could redo every concert I attended, I would. These shows are real and I find myself dealing with every emotion, sometimes even half way through a concert i’ll have tears streaming down my face because of how happy I am in that moment, every emotion you feel in a matter or just a couple hours. The screaming and pushing is something you overlook and worth it at the end, I hate using the term “my happy place” but that is the best way I could describe concerts for me.
Words & Photos by Karen Rosas
Mrs. Perez’s Marketing class did a series of magazine covers, exploring a variety of topics. Here are a few of them.