Build awareness, not human walls

Tyler McGinty

If you’re one of the dedicated people who are going to be holding hands on April 17 as part of Hands Across California, I’m amazed. I applaud you for supporting something you believe in. I also don’t understand you.

To be fair, I’ve never understood the whole idea behind these types of events. If the issue is important, it shouldn’t matter how many people will join hands, how many miles you can run, or whatever else anyone is willing to do to raise money for a cause. It’s all a gimmick. If someone really cares enough about something, they should just donate money.

It just seems like a cheap publicity stunt to raise awareness for a serious issue. Community colleges are an important resource and they are short of money. I just don’t see why it takes a bunch of people holding hands to make people see it. To me, something this arbitrary just cheapens the issue. The message this sends to me is if you just hold hands, we can fix the issue. Which it won’t.

What we need is something to be done about it. Education funding should be a higher priority, and I’m offended that it takes some wannabe-hippies and C-list celebrities holding hands and looking like they’re practicing for the biggest game of Red Rover to bring this issue to light.

How about instead we have a rally in Sacramento? How about we write letters to our state legislature? How about we actually do something instead of just joining hands? I think we could accomplish more with half as many people actively trying to make a change, instead of all of them making a line to show solidarity.

Apparently, Hands Across California can’t even show that much solidarity. Some schools have dropped out, and the proposed route didn’t even go all the way across California. It went about three-fourths of the state, had a little branch off, and was supposed to loop around.

But the loop won’t be completed because some schools dropped out. The schools that don’t participate still get the money, however.

Which makes even less sense to me. If participation isn’t required, then it doesn’t matter if they have a million people holding hands or just one.

These schools instead have their own little events like barbecues, or they’ll hold hands with each other.

If you aren’t going to fully participate, you shouldn’t do it. It’s ridiculous for these schools to raise money under the Hands Across California banner without actually trying to join in on this line.

I just don’t get it. If the line actually stretched across California, I’d be a little more understanding.

But it won’t. All it does is take people who care about the issue away from trying to do something productive. Instead, they’ll be holding hands and probably singing protest songs.

But if MC Hammer sings “Kumbaya” while he stands in line, I take back everything bad I said.