As a young child living in Africa, America is a place full of hope and dreams. It is a place where your most unobtainable dreams could become reality. And now I find myself in this constant state of sadness that America is now a place of fear and injustice.
In the past couple of weeks, I’ve found myself feeling angry and sad. Being plagued by the hurt of consistently feeling judged, ridiculed, and stereotyped simply because of my skin color. MY FUCKING SKIN COLOR! I can never seem to wrap my head around that fact.
There has been so much outrage and sadness that has affected all of us in the past week (since the horrific events in Charlottesville). But, I have to ask, why did we wait until Charlottesville to start this conversation?
WHY did we wait until Charlottesville? A lot of us do not want to face the facts that racism, anti-Semitism, gender discrimination and many other issues exist in America. We place a cushy little band-aid on these issues and forget about them.
However, those wounds are not healed. I think about all the black men who on a daily basis have to worry about how they dress, walk and talk simply because they worry they won’t make it home for dinner. Those are very real thoughts! There are still many days when I walk into a store and instantly feel all eyes on me simply because my skin is darker.
Countless acts of violence, racism, and injustice continue to plague many minority communities. Yet, it takes us this long to show outrage? Because we have played this “cover up” game for decades, we don’t know what to think. These acts of violence and hatred occur every day in many communities. Yes, they don’t make it to the national news but they are just as important.
So what am I hoping for? I am hoping and praying that we talk to each other. Let’s listen to one another. Express your outrage and stand up against prejudice of any kind!
Do it for the little black girl who begs her mom to straighten her hair because she wants her hair to be “beautiful”. For the bigger girl/guy who hears all the laughs and whispers. The Muslim man or woman who is afraid to practice their religion because he/she doesn’t want to be labeled a terrorist. For the woman who sometimes works twice as hard as the man, and he still gets the promotion. For all of us who sometimes feel like we don’t belong. I am begging humans as a whole race, stand up for EACH OTHER! It shouldn’t matter if someone looks like you! The majority of us are here for the same purpose: we want to make it to the American Dream.
I will always pray for all the families and loved ones of Heather Heyer, Trayvon Martin, Philando Castile, Micheal Brown, and the countless others who have lost their lives or have been injured due to senseless violence. My hope is that we can continue the conversation, and we listen to each other. Ask someone who looks different from you what can you do to make their day a little better?
Whether you are Black, White, Hispanic, Asian, Jew, Catholic, Christian, Muslim… etc. We need to listen to one another. Start in your own communities and let’s change this disgusting time. We have to hold our leaders and ourselves accountable for the part we play in this mess.
I am always going to feel and be different. Although that makes me happy, excited and sad all at the same time. I am grateful for the experiences I have had in my short little life. But most of all, I am grateful for this platform. Hopefully, I can play a small part in continuing the conversation and keeping that band-aid off!