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Art by James Rhee

Disclaimer: The featured artwork contains what some may consider triggering images.

VOX Teen Art: The Full Picture

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White systemic power runs through the veins of America, but when trying to tackle the issue of racial oppression, we often stumble upon obstacle after obstacle. The problem with racism is that it isn’t just a two-faced issue, it isn’t just a two-sided story, nor is it just a two-race problem. Understanding the complex nature of racism can take years if not centuries to find a solution, but it starts by examining racism as a whole.

Tou Thao, an officer of Asian descent and part of Minneapolis’ Hmong community, looked away as a white officer, Derek Chauvin, took away a life of George Floyd, an unarmed Black man. The media focuses on the polarity between Black and white in the nearly nine-minute viral video of Chauvin kneeling on Floyd’s neck, but often leaves out a crucial piece of information — Asians are also a part of the problem.

It is so important to look at the whole picture. You can’t possibly understand an entire story by only reading the first chapter. You can’t possibly visualize a painting by only looking at the corner. Asians are also a part of the problem of centuries of systemic racism, but we can also be the solution. Some, like Thao, choose to look away, but more of us can choose to be part of the fight for justice.

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