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High school students from Las Vegas react to recent political violence

Posted at 6:41 PM, Jan 18, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-19 11:11:33-05

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — On Jan. 6, high school students across the Las Vegas valley watched history unfold in real time.

"I was highly disturbed that people would go as far as going on federal property, and breaking windows and going inside," said Jazzlyn, a Desert Pines High School junior.

The images of rioters storming the U.S. capitol now burned into memory struck deep and personal.

"There was a trending hashtag when I hopped onto Twitter and it was Camp Auschwitz," said Elena Dodd, also a junior at Desert Pines High School.

The older, white, heavily bearded man who wore a Camp Auschwitz sweatshirt to invade the Capitol Building has since been arrested in Virginia. But that kind of outward display of anti-Semitism was chilling for Dodd.

"I'm Jewish. Most of my family is Jewish," she said. "I've been lucky enough to not be faced with the real, actual threats of Neo-Nazism in my life so far but I don't think that's going to last much longer."

Across town, Zamier Marshall, Tyler Williams and Germie Bernard are seniors at Liberty High School.

Marshall said what happened at the capitol was childish and ignorant, but he's focused on what he can control in his own life.

"People are going to do what they were taught and they are going to do what they've been doing," he said. "They're going to do and react however they want to so at this point I just have to keep mine and keep the circle around me doing what's right and keep my family safe."

In honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., the young men were out in downtown Las Vegas this morning passing out necessities to the homeless. It's Dr. King's legacy that inspires them to act and his words that guide them forward - even in this moment. Especially in this moment.

"There was a quote I learned basically just saying, 'we must learn to live together as brothers or perish as fools.' I kind of live by that," said Bernard.

For Williams, it's Dr. King's seminal message that resonates the most -- love over hate.

"Treat hate with love and just be equal," said Williams. "He wanted to erase everything and stop racism in the United States. Not for just African Americans but for everybody to come together and do everything as one."