Black Lives Matter in Our Community


Protestors supporting the cause

Cristopher Pineda, Senior Editor

  Black Lives Matter is a decentralized political and social movement advocating for non-violent civil disobedience in protest against incidents of police brutality and all racially motivated violence against black people. Black Lives Matter first started in July of 2013, due to Treyvon Martin’s death after his murderer George Zimmerman was acquitted, causing people to demand justice for Treyvon’s death.

  Seven years later on May 25th, the death of George Floyd became a spark for protests not only in Minnesota but all across America and even over the world. These incidents have put into light the issues with systems in our society, as well as people’s morals.

  In our own city, even though we live in a more high-class area, it is important to realize that we still go through the same issues as everyone else and should not be excused by being held accountable. Yasmine Idris (12), an African-American student, accounts for the issues she faces at school with different types of prejudice. She states, “Racism is definitely affecting me in school being outnumbered as it is predominantly white. With a white predominant school has a lot of microaggressions, such as the use of the n-word and if you speak out about it you’re seen as the crazy black girl that’s mad over everything.”

  It’s these kinds of issues that continually have caused our city to not fix the same problems seen time and time again. Yasmine has also experienced a lot of educational issues with the school system, as she had to prove herself even more than anyone else. For example, when applying for AP classes, she had to beg her counselors when peers who had lower grades than she got in easily. 

  It is important to realize that in our own lifetime we will never experience some of these issues, due to our skin color. Since we live in a predominantly white area, our prejudices cannot be excused and everyone should be held accountable for and learn through their actions.

  In the midst of protests, Adele Giovanniello (12), since July, has protested in her free time mostly by herself holding a Black Lives Matter sign in Aliso Viejo. While protesting, she has been harassed and flipped off countless times. She states that the reason why she has protested for so long is that she is tired of seeing people just post stuff on Instagram or other social media platforms without actually meaning it and wanted to see how our community reacted to her just protesting almost every week since July.  

  She states, “When she goes alone as a woman people start getting vocal with derogatory terms about me being a woman protesting and being called ignorant. The worst one was when a guy who had a pickup pulled a knife on me while protesting and I’m always on high alert because I’m a female, but I wanted to put myself out there because I am a white woman and want to use my privilege.”

  Adele also states that, if we think that Aliso Viejo is safe and that these harassment issues have happened to Adele, imagine a black person in her position. We have to take into account that Aliso Viejo is considered a safe place in general. If we have experiences of racism here but stay ignorant, situations will become worse for everyone and cause more division in our own community. 

  There have been many videos and situations that explain people who have been racist in our community as well as many people who have first-hand experiences with prejudices. A lot of the time, since we do live in a suburban bubble, we believe everything is safe and that nothing can hurt us when the truth is we’re ignorant of certain issues in our city, and the belief that ignorance is bliss is very strong. Since it seems like it shows how privileged our community is to negate serious things happening and we need to finally wake up and realize these are universal problems we should all work to face and overcome, or else we will end up eating each other alive.