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Collected Item: “Civil Discourse During A Pandemic”

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Civil Discourse During A Pandemic

Tell us a story; share your experience. Or describe the item you are submitting. What does the object or story you've uploaded say about the pandemic, and/or why is it important to you?

I assume like many New Yorkers, March 13th through 18th was when things really changed. It did for me on the 15th of March 2020 or the ides of March as I like to remember it. My store shut down for what seemed like 2 weeks. Of course, soon I would be given the news we would be shut down completely. I already knew where things were going, at the time I worked at an Asian restaurant, so I was hearing many of the conversations about China then. But I could not have predicted what would happen next. As slow and dreadful as 2020 was, things were moving at lightning speed for the situation we experienced. It felt like every few days something new would arise and test our nation. I selected these pictures because it shows how tired everyone is, the blank faces of people who are following orders, while the other side expresses their hardships all the while wearing masks, the bane of 2020. I want the historian of the future to know that no matter the situation at hand, many of us will still protest for what was wrong even if they got sick. It didn’t matter because we needed to send a message.
The two images that you see in the beginning were taken by my friend, Emilio Lopez, who documented the protests, riots, and clashes between police in the summer of 2020. I did not go to the early protests because of covid and the violence/looting wasn’t the things I wanted to be a part of. I remember face-timing my friend to make sure if he was alright as I did not go with him. What he described to me that was happening in the parts of Fordham, and Union Square areas. Emilio had said many of the protesters were young men who were bored of the lockdowns and needed to do something exciting. There were fires, baton exchanges with the cops, and then the looting started. It all got a little too ugly for the whole week of George Floyd protests in New York. One of my close friend’s stores in Fordham was destroyed as a result.
The images were taken right before things took a violent turn at Union Square. Where many of my friends were tear-gassed and beaten by cops to disperse when the first lockdown was getting implemented. Those two images, I feel like the body language of the subjects conveys how I felt about the lockdowns, the social injustice, in general about 2020. These were the first few weeks of protests that took place in the wake of George Fyold murder. I was shocked and scared when the masses went on to the streets because of the sheer amount while the pandemic was still going on. I hope the historians of the future can understand us even if they have to go through a cluster of memes from this era, real pictures with real human emotions will always speak louder I believe, and that civil rights in this country still have ways to go.

What sort of object is this, and where did you find it? (Examples: text story, photograph, screenshot, drawing, meme, personal essay, street art, etc.)

Photograph, screenshot, protest, police, etc.

Are you the sole creator of these materials? Then select "I am sole creator." If no, please select "I have co-creators" and list the names of the content co-creators, their contact information, and the circumstances of how you came to have the materials. IMPORTANT: Each co-creator must fill out this form in order for the item to be accepted by the archives. However, only one co-creator is required to upload any document.)

I have co-creators

Use tags (separated by commas) to describe your story or documents. For example: Does it relate to a particular neighborhood? Does it relate to a particular aspect of the pandemic?

Union Square, BLM, Protests, Marching, Police, People, Summer, Civil Discourse

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What is your affiliation, if any, with Bronx Community College?

Undergrad majoring in Liberal Arts History

If what you are submitting was created as part of a Bronx Community College class, please indicate the course code (i.e., ENG1010) semester, and professor:

HIS 20 D03W, Spring 2021, Prof. Katherine Culkin

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I agree to a CC-ND-NC Licence
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