Tell Your Story – California during the time of COVID-19

Tell Your Story - Marissa, Davis
Cops in riot gear stand shoulder to shoulder surrounding the Sacramento Capitol Building in response to a Black Lives Matter protest, May 31, 20


Marissa, Davis

“When George Floyd was killed and protestors began to take to the streets, my cooperative community members and I did not hesitate to break our quarantine to join in this extremely righteous cause. With masks and hand sanitizer, goggles and eyewash, we joined thousands of others in the streets of Sacramento to demand justice and respect for black lives. A push forward in the crowd led to my body and other white bodies forming a line in front of our black and brown comrades, a white barrier from police brutality. Face-to-face with hundreds of riot-gear-clad cops, batons held ready to crack a protestor in the head, I felt for the first time a sense that the people I was always told would protect me would not hesitate to hurt me. A huge sheet of white privilege shattered inside my being as I realized, heart pounding, that this was perhaps something like the type of fear people of color must feel regularly in their encounters with law enforcement. My skin pigmentation means that I do not have to worry whether my life will be taken if I reach for my wallet during a traffic stop, go for a jog, or wear a hoodie. That night, I slumped to the floor, sobs rocking my body and soul, finally beginning to see the realities of the weight imposed on nonwhite people in this racist country and understanding that I would never truly understand. These issues are far more important than keeping a strict quarantine, for those of us who are not at high risk for the virus.”

Marissa, 22


< Previous Story |Exhibition Home | Next Story >