For over 120 days, there have been constant, daily protests starting from the city of Ferguson and abroad. Behind these protests have been members of the community and mainly the youth. These young organizers did not know where to begin but they knew that it had to happen because of the injustice that they felt in their city. They did not receive help, at first, they had each other and worked together to begin this mass movement that is known today. “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot,” was created by them. Yesterday, Al Sharpton put together a rally/march to try to bring the families of these victims together, in Washington D.C. During this rally, the youth organizers were not allowed to be on the stage or even speak. This soon turned into a problem as majority of their supporters demand that they allowed them to speak. In a whirlwind of emotion you can see, Netta and Erika Totten, two of the main organizers, demanding to be heard. They begin to shout, “Hands up, don’t shoot,” to symbolize that if it were not for them, this movement would not be where it is today. Donnie McClurken ignores them and begins to pray, but Netta and their supporters continue to chant. Now, while many see this as being disrespectful, I applaud these young sisters. You stand up for what you believe in, no matter what. If it were not for these woman gathering the youth and protesting EVERY DAY in Ferguson, no one would care about this movement. There would be no international protesting. There would be no Berkeley protest. Nothing. To deny these people and allow them to be apart of something that they initiated is a slap in the face. This is why so many young people deter the thoughts of protesting or trying to get involved. Older leaders do not know how to let that crown go. We appreciate you for what you have done but it is time to recognize that the youth are the new leaders. They have the ability to reach the masses that will actually listen and want to join this movement. Isn’t this all that matters? To see Al Sharpton’s daughter tweet about these two women as if they were being truly disruptive and disrespectful at her father’s march was appalling. It is not Al Sharpton’s march. I have nothing but love and respect for these women who have been through the trenches to stand up against injustice. They have been through it all and on their own. While the older generation might not respect them, we do. Our generation needs more Black people to stand up like these courageous women. I am so incredibly proud to see that Black women are behind all of this as they tend to make us seem like we are not worthy of this type of behavior in the media. We are not just sitting in the kitchen, cooking meals, we are actually out there putting in the work. I continue to support anyone who is for this cause, but I double support a Black woman. She is giving our younger girls something to look at. While we looked up to Angela Davis and Assata Shakur, these little girls can look and see these positive images of Netta and Erika Totten and countless others on TV and strive to be like them. To be able to stand for something and fight for your freedom. This is what matters. Not a rally chalked with a celebrity line up. But an actual cause that starts a revolution beyond belief.
Photo Credits: @theroot, @Nettaaaaaaaa, @2LiveUnchained