Students join the fight for equality

Freshmen+Tiffany+Colston+marches+downtown+while+practicing+social+distancing+at+a+Black+Lives+Matter+protest.+

Submitted Tiffany Colston

Freshmen Tiffany Colston marches downtown while practicing social distancing at a Black Lives Matter protest.

Yness Martinez, Staff Reporter

In the sweltering heat, hundreds of protesters flood the streets of downtown Austin. The powerful atmosphere draws people to the windows, as they watch the crowd. They march for equality, they march for the lives lost, they march for “Black Lives Matter”.

I had no idea what to expect, you know?” sophomore Autumn Yeats said. “And especially because I remember the night before we were watching the news coverage of it and they were just, they were setting stuff on fire, there’s a lot of things happening, I didn’t know if it was going to be super violent.”

The “Black Lives Matter” movement has touched almost every city in the U.S., including Austin. Back in May, the recorded murder of George Floyd was released on the internet, along with news about the killings of Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery; and it spread like a wildfire. These were some of the first few events that re-ignited the “Black Lives Matter” movement.

“The videos are really just heartbreaking things,” sophomore Anwyn Yeats said. “So what you see on video is kind of what drew everyone to it, seeing that it’s real and it’s not just a story.”

Other students expressed their support by protesting and posting information on social media. Sisters Autumn and Anwyn protested at city hall. 

“We marched from the Capitol, and then we walked up to City Hall,” Autumn said. “Almost everyone was wearing masks, and we made signs.”

With the amount of knowledge on the BLM movement circulating the internet, it was important to Autumn and Anwyn to have all the information about what they could do to help.

“I think that there should definitely be some education on it, just so you fully understand and can be ready to be a part of the movement,” Anwyn said. “Understand what you’re getting into and how to be a better ally.”

While attending a protest downtown, freshman Tiffany Colston had a similar experience, walking for hours in the streets of Austin to show her support.

“I think what really brought my attention was the George Floyd killing.” Colston said. “It’s so important because I see people that look like me being killed and being treated cruelly.” 

Colston believes that people should not be judged by the color of their skin. She understands the “Black Lives Matter” movement in a different way.

“I’m half black and my parents are black. So it’s important because I see people that look like me being killed” Colston said. “I want to do something to show people that don’t understand. It’s just getting people more aware of what’s going on outside of Steiner, because I feel like a lot of people are consumed in the Steiner bubble.”

She is not the only one that realized that. Steiner Ranch had their own demonstration back in June, organized by the Steiner Ranch Democrats. It was a nonpartisan protest open to all. Sophomore Katie Carvalho attended the event.

“Personally, I think that Steiner Ranch is a bubble,” Carvalho said. “ I think not a lot of people understand what’s going on with the outside world. We’re just so closed in this area.”

The social resistance to minorities and especially African Americans can be found everywhere. Equality can be something as big as difference in pay, to everyday treatment.

“People’s personalities matter more than the color of their skin,” Carvalho said. “Everyone should be treated equally.”

With equality in mind, some students are doing everything they can to make a change, whether it’s online from their homes or in the streets.

“If  you can’t protest, you can sign petitions,” Carvalho said. “You can let others know what is going on.”