The United States was built on racial division. To live as a Black person in this country requires constantly proving that you are worthy, constantly asserting that you belong, and constantly grappling with the false narrative that you are a product of your circumstances because of the bad choices you made at some point in your life.
While Black people have been examined with such scrutiny, the systems that have been at the crux of the dismal circumstances, have remained untouched and have kept the division going. For a long time, the only people talking about these divisions were Black people and the only people listening were other Black people.
That is no longer the case. Systems, more accurately, systemic racism, is being discussed.
Now that white society is ready to listen, I’m ready to speak – and I’ll continue to speak until actual changes are made.
I have been at the forefront of spreading good, legitimate information across my social media platforms. I would love to protest, but as an asthmatic, well, the coronavirus threat is still alive and well.
Because of the influx of posts and the craziness of outside, I’ve been asked, “Are you okay?”
My first thought is, why would I be okay? Besides systemic racism, my brothers and sisters are dying in the streets by the hands of the people who are supposed to protect and serve them! We live in a society so racist that instead of being able to come together and say, “This is a problem” it says, “Well, the cops are just scared.”
How TF are they scared of a woman sleeping in her bed or boys running away from them? Or in George Floyd’s case, completely restrained, put in the back of a police car AND PULLED BACK OUT TO BE MURDERED WHILE RECORDED? I shouldn’t have to say this, but murder is not okay.
Responding to the ignorance of the support of the police officers is exhausting. A cop is not the judge or jury of any case. PERIOD. Their only role is to assess a situation and if they determine a crime has been committed, to take that person to the police station. And when a suspect’s criminal history is brought up to absolve police murders, it ignores the fact that MURDERERS in mass school shootings manage to regularly make it to the jail ALIVE. The discrepancies are not okay.
I have smiled and ignored the micro aggressions. I have smiled and nodded while being passed over for leadership positions. I have comforted my children when they were not invited to certain parties, especially the non-birthday ones where there was no “entire class” mandate. I have smiled while I was disrespected at a firm knowing my worth and not being respected enough to be paid it. And through all of this, I pretended to be okay.
The thing is, I’m NOT okay. I haven’t been for a long time.
Since my first college volunteering experience through today at my children’s school, I have been a witness to this systemic racism for decades. The cycle is heartbreaking and it needs to stop. The impact of our racist society means that children have to grow up in a society that doesn’t respect them.
So, how will I become okay? Keep going. Don’t let the movement end with this media cycle. When we all go back to work, remember that there a millions of people still counting on you to help make this change.