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The Village News, Bellport's Paperless NewspaperOp-Ed

Normally, the phrase “Op-Ed” stands for “opposite the editorial page,” but here on Bellport.com, it stands for “Opinion-Editorial.” Our Op-Ed piece's express the opinion of a writer who is unaffiliated with Bellport.com and the writer is solely responsible for the content of the Op-Ed piece. Generally, our Op-Ed pieces are fewer than 1,000 words in length and they should be in good taste and not libelous. Our Editorial Board would be glad to consider your Op-Ed piece for publication.

 


   
June 11, 2020

Editor’s Note: The following speech was given by Bellport High School Sophomore, Sarah Elbaroudy, at the peaceful protest in Bellport Village last Friday, June 5, 2020. We received a copy of her speech from Dr. Joseph Giani, Superintendent of South Country Schools. We want to share it with you, our readers.

 

Hi! My name is Sarah Elbaroudy and I’m 16 years old and a sophomore at Bellport High School.

As a Muslim, I shouldn’t have to fear for my life going to pray at my place of worship. It’s supposed to be a safe place.

It kills me how black people have to fear for their lives just doing daily tasks. How people cannot love who they want to love, how women cannot walk alone at night safely, how they make 79 to every dollar a man makes. How families are torn apart. How kids have to fear for their lives going to school. It’s not right.

This “privilege” people keep saying white people have is not because we get special privileges, it’s because our problems and obstacles in life have nothing to do with our skin color. Our future is not determined by our skin color. We are treated human.

We are the United States of America, but are we really united? ARE WE REALLY UNITED? The Corona Virus is hiding the real virus in America, hate.

If we are taught to hate, we can learn to love. People even hate themselves. Nobody is safe from hate.

I will never understand you, but I stand for you. I stand for us. I will not stand for a country that doesn’t stand for you.

Police took a pledge to bring justice, but that does not outweigh the fact that institutionalized racism is the backbone of our criminal justice system.

MANY OF YOU FEEL LIKE YOU’VE BEEN STEPPED ON, YOU’VE BEEN PUSHED ASIDE, YOU’VE BEEN ABANDONED, YOU FEEL LIKE YOU’VE BEEN TALKED ABOUT, LIKE SOMEONE TOOK FROM YOU. SOMEONE HURT YOU. SOMEONE TOOK ADVANTAGE OF YOU.

DEEP DOWN INSIDE YOU FEEL LIKE YOU’VE LOST YOUR WORTH AND YOUR VALUE, AND I’M HERE TO TELL YOU TODAY, IF A DOLLAR STILL HAS WORTH AND VALUE, NO MATTER IF IT’S CRUMPLED UP, FOLDED, STOMPED ON, etc THEN YOU STILL HAVE WORTH AND VALUE.

THERE WAS SOME MEN YEARS AGO WHO PUT VALUE ON THIS LIFE, AND SAID NO MATTER WHAT HAPPENS, IT COULD STILL BE TAPED BACK TOGETHER AND WIPED OFF. YOU WERE CREATED AND YOU WERE BORN AND YOU’RE HERE. YOU HAVE LIFE, YOU HAVE VALUE, YOU HAVE PURPOSE. YOU HAVE VALUE AND WE ARE ALL EQUAL, YOU MAY BE EXPERIENCING SOME DIFFICULT TIMES BUT I’M HERE TO TELL YOU THAT NOBODY ON THIS EARTH CAN TAKE YOUR WORTH AND VALUE AWAY.

YOU MAY WANT TO GIVE UP, BUT NOTHING CAN TAKE YOUR WORTH AWAY. NOT EVEN YOUR OPPRESSOR. So what you have to do, is pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and keep moving.

We’re all equal, we all bleed the same blood, no matter if you’re black, white, brown, red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple or whatever you are. Don’t back down until society can live by this. I AM PROUD OF ALL OF YOU AND THE PEOPLE THAT YOU’VE BECOME.

An entire sea of water cannot sink a ship unless it gets inside the ship, similarly... the negativity of the world cannot put you down unless you allow it to get inside of you.

Never let them convince you that what you’re doing is violence.

HUNGER IS VIOLENCE.
HOMELESSNESS IS VIOLENCE.
WAR IS VIOLENCE.
DROPPING BOMBS ON PEOPLE IS VIOLENCE.
RACISM IS VIOLENCE.
WHITE SUPREMACY IS VIOLENCE.
NO HEALTHCARE IS VIOLENCE.
POVERTY IS VIOLENCE.
SILENCE IS VIOLENCE.

WE’RE NOT TRYING TO START A RACE WAR, WE’RE TRYING TO END ONE

ENOUGH IS ENOUGH

Property can be replaced, human lives cannot.

Bad people do not REPRESENT US, A RACE, OR A RELIGION. BAD PEOPLE DO NOT REPRESENT A WHOLE GROUP. WE ARE ALL BORN WITH BEAUTIFUL HEARTS MINDS AND SOULS.

NO LIVES MATTER UNTIL BLACK LIVES MATTER. NO LIVES MATTER UNTIL BLACK LIVES MATTER.

WE ARE THE MOST DIVERSE STATE IN AMERICA, WE SHOULD REPRESENT AMERICA IN THIS MOVEMENT. WE WILL NOT REST UNTIL BLACK PEOPLE GET THE RIGHTS THEY DESERVE, UNTIL WOMEN CAN WALK ALONE, UNTIL KIDS FEEL SAFE GOING TO SCHOOL, UNTIL 11 YEAR OLDS DONT STARVE THEMSELVES. UNTIL WE REACH A WORLD WHERE PEOPLE CAN LOOK IN THE MIRROR AND BE COMFORTABLE IN THEIR OWN SKIN. WHERE BLACK PEOPLE CAN FEEL THE SUN ON THEIR SKIN WITHOUT FEAR.

Love overpowers all, as the saying goes individually we are a drop, together we are an ocean. INDIVIDUALLY, WE ARE A DROP, TOGETHER... WE ARE AN OCEAN.

We are society, so why can’t we change society’s expectations? We are society, so why can’t we change society’s expectations?

Now say it with me, THE PEOPLE UNITED WILL NEVER BE DEFEATED. THE PEOPLE UNITED WILL NEVER BE DEFEATED.

UNITED WE STAND, DIVIDED WE FALL