Commentary: The Colossal Impact Race Has On Teens | WABE 90.1 FM

Commentary: The Colossal Impact Race Has On Teens

Dec 15, 2016

Saying that 2016 will go down as one of the most eventful years in recent American memory would be a massive understatement. With the world of politics, social movements and even entertainment having created significant divides amongst people this year, it’s hard to deny the impact this year will have on us as a whole.

Arguably the biggest driving factor in a majority of these events has been racial tension. Whether it be the unclear motivations of politicians or the several police shootings that have taken place, it seems that everywhere you turn, something is making the land of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness a little less happy.

The effect of such tension has been felt throughout the country by just about everyone, and teens are no exception. Young people growing up today must now wake up to a world where they have to be more careful than ever when simply walking down the streets. They must question the decisions they make every day and how it may ultimately affect others in their lives.

I had the opportunity to make this video where Atlanta teens were able to speak their true, uncensored thoughts on the changes in this country during VOX’s Race and Election event that occurred in late September. There was no shortage of shocking responses, and they all deeply resonated with me and others who attended that evening.

Probably the most eye-opening of responses that brought me down to reality, however, was from 16-year-old Kenneth Franklin who, when interviewed, said, “…It’s still a pretty frightening experience to know that you could, just, get arrested or die and there would really be nothing anyone could do about it.”  

Mikael, 18, is a freshman at the Savannah College of Art and Design in Atlanta where he majors in animation. Mikael has made a host of stop-motion and claymation short films, including his popular Donald Trump VS webseries and his award-winning short film “The Tree That Refused To Fall,” which can all be found on his YouTube channel, Cyclops Studios.

This story was created by the #VOXInvestigates team and published at, Atlanta’s home for uncensored teen publishing and self-expression. For more about the nonprofit VOX, visit