Artwork by Ally W.


By: Lime Green Giraffe Copy Editor, Lillabeth B.

Disclaimer: This editorial mentions breaking and entering, gun violence, and lynching.


The Lime Green Giraffe has always been an outlet for young women’s voices, and one of my favorite aspects of the magazine is our willingness to try new things. When I first joined the LGG five years ago, I wanted to write a short story that would be released in parts, with a new chapter publishing each month. Our adult volunteers could have taken one look at my dorky middle school self, smiling naively and sporting a pixie cut that made me look like a 12-year-old boy, and thrown my idea out the window. They could have told me that I was too new, or that it was not the sort of story the LGG published, or that it was too out-of-the-box. Instead, they embraced it with excitement, my six chapters were published, and serial stories, as we call them now, became a regular appearance on our site.

Back then, I saw my voice as one of creativity, of imagination. Now, I am five-years older and the world feels drastically different from the one that I lived in then and even from the one that I lived in six-months ago. The COVID-19 pandemic has shone a light on socioeconomic and racial inequities that privileged Americans have turned a blind eye to for far, far too long.

I think people of my generation have been among the most vocal advocates for change in the past decade because of our access to the Internet. We have infinite resources to educate ourselves, we have a platform, and we have the ability to organize. However, I think, the Internet is a double-edged sword, and these new tools have helped bring about the age of misinformation, of Twitter battles, of sensationalist media. I believe we have seen the fiery birth and slow, deliberate death of social justice movements because of the short attention span of the news cycle and social media trends.

The World Wide Web has also helped to catalyze the current history-making movement to end police brutality and systemic racism. However, it must be acknowledged that this anger has been fueled by viral videos of horrific violence against Black people. I am reminded of Emmett Till’s funeral in 1955, when his mother chose to have a public open-casket service to show the unspeakable evil and cruelty of his lynching. No mother should have to grieve so openly, to use her son’s death to bring attention to the terrible injustices Black people were facing. Now, videos of George Floyd and Ahmaud Arbery’s killings were instrumental in bringing about a deluge of protests, social media posts, news coverage, and action against an issue that is not new. It is a sin our country has struggled with since its founding.

The attack in Breonna Taylor’s home was not captured on video, but the story of her death has provoked outrage across the world, and yet as of press time, little action has been taken. Taylor, a 26-year-old emergency medical technician in Louisville, Kentucky, was shot and killed on March 13, 2020 by police officers in plainclothes who were executing a no-knock search warrant. They forcefully entered her apartment, and her boyfriend, believing that the officers were intruders, exchanged gunfire with the policemen. Taylor was shot eight times. 

As of publication in the Fall of 2020: One of the officers who participated in the raid, Brett Hankison, has been fired; the others, Jon Mattingly and Myles Cosgrove, are on administrative leave; and, despite a global cry for justice, none of the officers have been arrested or charged with any offense.

Breonna Taylor’s killing may not have been recorded, but her death catalyzed an uprising. Posts with tags such as #SayHerName and #JusticeForBreonna have flooded social media. She has been featured on the covers of Oprah Magazine and Vanity Fair. The WNBA has dedicated its season to her. Voices are speaking out from every corner of the world.

As members of the Lime Green Giraffe, we have a voice, and we have a platform, and we would be remiss not to use them. Breonna Taylor’s death was not only tragic; it was immoral, it was abhorrent, it was horrifying, it was infuriating, it was devastating, and yet none of these words seem powerful enough to encompass the atrocity of this event. Like so many others, the LGG Leadership Team was moved to action.

At our most recent meeting, we brought an idea to our adult volunteers. We wanted to feature original artwork portraying Breonna Taylor on the cover of our fall issue. They could have told us that we were in over our heads, or that the LGG was not a political magazine, or that we were too young to make this strong of a statement. Instead, they decided it was time to try something new. It is time for the LGG to stand up for Black women like Taylor, for Black Girl Scouts, and for all Black people.

What happened to Breonna Taylor should never happen to anyone. No one comes close to deserving that fate, especially at the hands of officers of the law. But all too often, Black people in America are pulled over on highways, stopped in the streets, or attacked in their own homes without any just cause; simply because of the color of their skin.

As Girl Scouts, we are given a mission: leave a place better than you found it. Therefore, it is our duty to improve life in America for everyone who lives here. I am incredibly proud to be a part of a magazine that gives girls a voice to speak out against injustices they see in the world. This may be something new for us, but it is not the end. It is only the beginning.


Learn more about the Black Lives Matter movement and how you can help:

https://blacklivesmatter.com/

https://blacklivesmatter.carrd.co/

https://www.seiu-uhw.org/black-lives-matter-resources-for-allies/

https://docs.google.com/document/u/0/d/13O7yipKHeIF2-QJ_K9IKIdLQAlN8NgEOF62qQjUjEVM/mobilebasic

https://www.manrepeller.com/2020/06/black-lives-matter-resources.html


Bibliography:

Abcarian, Robin. “Column: NBA Players Are Demanding Justice for Breonna Taylor's Death. We Should Join Them.” Los Angeles Times, Los Angeles Times, 28 July 2020, www.latimes.com/opinion/story/2020-07-28/nba-players-demand-justice-breonna-taylor-we-should-join-them

BBC. “Breonna Taylor: Louisville Officer to Be Fired for Deadly Force Use.” BBC News, BBC, 20 June 2020, www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-53111709

Callimachi, Rukmini. “Breonna Taylor's Life Was Changing. Then the Police Came to Her Door.” The New York Times, The New York Times, 30 Aug. 2020, 

www.nytimes.com/2020/08/30/us/breonna-taylor-police-killing.html

Oppel, Richard A., and Derrick Bryson Taylor. “Here's What You Need to Know About Breonna Taylor's Death.” The New York Times, The New York Times, 30 May 2020, 

www.nytimes.com/article/breonna-taylor-police.html

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