Picture of Protesters

Community members participated at a recent Black Lives Matter protest. The protest took place at the corner of Geer Road and Monte Vista Avenue, in front of the Stan State campus. (Photo courtesy of the Turlock Journal)

Since the murder of George Floyd on May 25, 2020, a lot has been happening in our country. On top of the COVID-19 pandemic, there was now an uprising of voices calling for dramatic, but much needed societal change. Aside from us both believing in the Black Lives Matter Movement and all it stands for, this is a significant moment in history.

Although the media has been labeled "fake news" for the past three years, journalists are at the forefront putting their lives at risk to be able to properly document this historic moment. Even though we are considerably smaller than most other news publications out there, we felt compelled to speak out, join this conversation, and amplify the voices of those who are affected. 

Our country has become a place of divisive conversation and it’s become common practice to disregard and filter out those ideas or topics that one doesn’t agree with. This isn’t actually anything new. Since the very beginning of journalism, media outlets have been able to be focused on one viewpoint versus another. 

As journalists, we believe in the First Amendment. We believe that people can think, say, read and share what they want, but we also believe that matters of human existence should not be ignored. This movement is run by human beings with a history as old as our country itself and the fact that their stories have been limited or erased in our history books is all the more reason for us to speak out with them and make sure they are heard. 

With the two of us having experienced censorship of our ideas, which also led to us sometimes thinking we had to bite our tongues, we finally have the opportunity to voice our opinion and show how much we not only believe in those who are affected, but also how much support we have for them. 

While it is true that minorities do need to stand together, it’s important that the struggles of those who are not a part of the black community do not take precedence at this moment in time. It’s their communities that need the attention, support and healing, so we want to focus on them. 

We hope that this article accomplishes a few things. 

First, we hope that it serves as a source of reflection for those who have been unsure as to where they stand, as well as where they’d like to go moving forward. There is so much information out there to consume as you form your own opinion on this matter. It’s important that you do the work and want to come to your own educated conclusions. However, it's even more important to know that, as you continue to learn, consume and interact with all of the information that's out there, it's understandable if your opinion changes. Being on the complete opposite of any issue after reading up on it is acceptable and nothing to be ashamed of. 

We also hope that this article will reach some of those within our campus community who have been directly affected by this whole situation. We hope that it inspires you to seek change and that we did the situation justice. As non-Black people, we acknowledge that we do not know exactly what you’re experiencing and we apologize for any misconceptions that you see in this piece.

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