It's the fact that when my Mother and I were in Target, just hanging around, a woman had the audacity to ask her children "Where's my purse?! Make sure you keep my purse close by me and away from her", while intently staring at my Mom and shielding her kids, as if my Mother were ready to steal from her. -Let me add that my Mother was in very respectable attire and carrying a Gucci purse.
Or maybe it's the fact that the first thing people tell me, when they see how I act is "You're black on the outside and white on the inside."
Or maybe it's because of the times I was teased by all different races for sounding "white". Which till this day, I don't know what that means.
Or maybe it's because the first time I was ever pulled over and got a ticket for something I know FOR A FACT I didn't do, the police officer said I was hostile, even while being a 17 year old girl, full on crying and being scared that I had just received my first ticket.
Or maybe it was when I had a job interview at a retail store and I wore my natural hair, and the interviewer asked me to read over the store handbook; she noted that it said "Professional Hairstyles only"and that I should "consider" straightening my hair, like hers, which is a great representation of professionalism.
Or maybe it's because while growing up in school, when my teachers would discuss slavery, they would glance over at me, as if they needed permission to discuss such a real topic.
Or maybe it's because when I read Huckleberry Finn in High School, I had people looking at me, waiting for me to react at the fact that the "N-word" was used over 219 times, in the book.
Maybe it's because when people other than African Americans ask me what I'm studying in school, they become shocked and then proceed to ask if I'm working so hard because I'm the first person in my family to go to college. -I come from a family with many degrees, so the answer to that is no.
Maybe it's because I pray every night that my older brother and his family may never get pulled over by a police officer, so that he is never put into a situation where he feels, as if he needs to say all the right things, just to avoid being shot.
Or maybe it's the fact that when I want to stand up for myself and get upset in public, I have to remind myself that I'm "black" and I can't show too much anger or I'll draw a negative scene.
Or maybe it's the fact that when I went to store with my niece, a woman walked past me and told her daughter that "Black girls can't keep their legs closed."
Or maybe it's the fact that when I competed in public speaking and won a competition, an individual that was not black said "well, black people are good at speaking now and on the come up." -Almost as if we've always been down?
I am reminded everyday, that I am Black in America.
I could go on and on about what it means to be Black in America, but I choose not to. But, I will say that I am tired.
I am so tired of seeing hashtags that involve the latest victim of sadness in our world. I am so tired of feeling my heart race when Iwalk past a Police Officer and they look me, up and down. I am so tired of being reminded that I'm a Black Woman in a so-called "White society".
So for all the people that keep complaining that black people are always rioting, or they're always mad, or that they're always fighting for something...have some empathy. Unless you are Black, you will never know what it's like to be Black in America. And it's the same for the Black people that are saying that all white people are racist. It's the same way that Black people will never understand what it's like to be White in America. Regardless of your skin color, develop empathy.
"Opinion is really the lowest form of human knowledge. It requires no accountability, no understanding. The highest form of knowledge… is empathy, for it requires us to suspend our egos and live in another’s world. It requires profound purpose larger than the self kind of understanding." -Bill Bullard
I don't hate Police Officers. I don't hate Law Enforcement. I don't hate White people. I don't hate this country and I don't hate this world, but what I do hate is that people think it's okay to have injustice in our world.
Do NOT tell me to avoid being be mad. Do NOT tell me to NOT get upset. Do NOT tell me to NOT pray for change, because I will. We live in a world full of injustice; there's injustice everywhere and some people rather hide behind their computers with their "keyboard confidence" and pretend like it doesn't happen. The world we live in is broken and scary. It is destroyed by hatred, prejudice and just downright evil. So I don't care if you don't agree with me, that doesn't phase me. But, I want you to understand why we, as African Americans, Whites, Hispanics, Purple people eaters, whatever it may be, need to be mad. WE NEED CHANGE.
The time to change is now. The time to speak up is now. The time to stop this madness, well that should have happened yesterday...or the day before...or the day before that. Please don't stop fighting for happiness and love in this world.
Please. In a time of sadness, keep your faith. Keep your hope alive. Hope for the greater good and hope for peace. I know our world feels broken, distraught and as if it's getting worse, but please...don't give up on Faith and Change.
These song lyrics called We Believe by Newsboys, speak volumes:
"In this time of desperation
When all we know is doubt and fear
There is only one foundation
We believe, we believe
In this broken generation
When all is dark, You help us see
There is only one salvation
We believe, we believe"
So, please, I beg of you...just believe. Believe that this world will be a better place. Believe that you can raise your children or unborn child on this planet. Believe that you can make a difference. Believe that you can take the time to strive for the greater good.
I will let you know one thing and one thing only; the devil DOES NOT have the power to destroy my world and I will never let him. HE WILL NOT TEAR US DOWN. I will keep praying for a better day, I will keep praying for minorities to be seen in a better light, I will keep praying for people to realize that not all White people are racist and not all Police Officers are evil. I won't stop praying--I refuse to.
Nelson Mandela once said "No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite."