To the Editor:

I am writing to have a discussion with the community-at-large. This is not to recruit for a political party or organization. Following all past and present events, I wanted to continue to raise awareness and speak out for social justice, peace, and action against unconscious racism and white silence, whether it be local or widespread.

I don’t want to live in or perpetuate a world where us, our children, and our children’s children run on fear, oppression, and hate (explicit or implicit). I am not here to point fingers or blame, nor just to shout “Black lives matter!” However, I am here to say that I believe that everyone should consider and acknowledge their own implicit biases, and that BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) lives matter, too. Overall, I want to advocate for a world where race, gender, sexuality, ethnicity, background, social class, or anything else does not matter, and there aren’t any hierarchies; of power nor victimhood.

Where there is no justice, there is no peace. However, this doesn’t just apply to physical or external peace, but also inner peace, such as living with yourself, living with others, and having a healthy state of mind.

I urge you to continue striving for positive social change (or protesting when it does not occur). If not, I would urge you to reflect on your thoughts and viewpoints and face the harsh truths of what our society, country, and political systems are built from. Being shielded from black people and other minorities is no excuse.

It is difficult to say, but it is the truth, and it needs to continue be said.

Matthew Cocchi

2017 RHS graduate

Class of 2021, Skidmore College, Oct. 25