Hamel: Happy Journal #18


Columnist Peyton Hamel argues the positives between COVID-19 and protests that plague the country. 

Peyton Hamel

I don’t want to turn on the news. But I can’t seem to peel my eyes off the TV screen. I want to silence my phone, but it’s in my best interest if I don’t. 

I have to stay aware. 

All I see is “Justice for George,” riots, protests, statements from officials, tear gas incidents and angry social media posts. We see so many forms of expression that it turns into sensory overload. I’m in a foreign sense of shock. Maybe you aren’t as disturbed as I am about current events, maybe you’re numb, maybe you don’t think about it at all. On the more extreme side of the spectrum, some believe this to be the apocalypse

But, in some sense, I feel relieved it’s finally happening. Another blessing in disguise, I hope. Do you think about COVID-19 anymore? Are you still keeping track of the cases in your county? Are Black and Brown Americans finally achieving what they deserve? 

One of the main arguments concerning civil rights is this: was violence the tipping point for making civil rights possible? I think about that question a lot. There certainly was disorganization within the movements; it’s quietly echoing a parallel from almost 50 years ago.

With all of this in mind, don’t forget who you are. Don’t forget who or what you stand for, in any circumstance. Don’t be quick to judge, either, why others are looting or protesting in the ways they do. Maybe it’s too much, maybe it isn’t. But we don’t know the stories behind why they are doing what they are. Take a position and fight with that position. Help fuel the good things that are happening at their core, even if the outsides seem a little rotten right now. 

We really are witnessing history. The year 2020 will not be forgotten, but who knows? 2021 might be a wild ride too. 

Peyton Hamel, sophomore in genetics and English.