Brown: It isn’t about you


Columnist Jake Brown reminds us the current protests are about a new era and a new community that will put all of its people at the center. 

Jake Brown

America is polarized on every issue, and we need to understand the competitive individualism that rules American society has no place in the modern world.

Protests in the recent months are fighting for many things, but they show a deep divide in the public’s view of society. However, protests over statewide lockdowns and stay-at-home orders are not the same as the current protests over George Floyd’s death and murder.

These protests differ in one thing: the selfish concept of “me”.

Those who protest the stay-at-home orders are protesting because the lockdowns have only affected them and their individual liberties and rights are being infringed upon. The George Floyd protests are about the treatment of all black Americans. These protests are not fighting for the individual, though they may have started that way.

They are about everyone involved and affected by the deaths of countless black individuals at the hands of police and other authorities who swore to protect them. 

As Americans, we have a duty to stand up and protect our friends and neighbors. The political chaos and instability currently rampaging and dividing our nation is not going to be healed with selfishness and individualism. It will be fixed with unity, empathy and maintaining an open mind about the experiences and perspectives of those around us. And that is exactly what we need to protest and fight for.

The current protests are about standing up for one another and fighting for each other in a time of chaos and crisis. This marks a turning point and a new era of American society that focuses on caring and understanding those around us. 

The many controversies plaguing our nation are not just about one individual. They are unique and complex, encompassing a wide array of beliefs, opinions and issues that every American citizen has and will continue to have.

But, going forward, we need to be more aware of our fellow citizens and to understand the nature of modern society is not about “me.” 

We need to be able to understand that sacrificing something of our own for our fellow citizens is more patriotic than waving a flag or supporting a president. We need to support each other through these times, to try to empathize and understand what each other is going through and will go through.

It’s not about one ideal or one country. It is about the people you live and work with. It is about the people you see in the grocery store, the movie theater and the park.

This is America. And it is not just about one person. It is about all of us.

Jake Brown, junior in biology and kinesiology.