From Charlotte, With Love

When I moved to Ohio I experienced racism in a whole new way. It was the first time I was fully surrounded by more whites than blacks and I didn’t know how to handle it all. Many of the people who I encountered at school wanted to know what kind of shampoo I used or if black people used sun screen. They wanted to know if all black people liked fried chicken, grape drink and watermelon and for some reason they all needed to make sure their “ghetto” accent was on point. They weren’t trying to be racist but I didn’t sign up to become the spokesperson for all the black people.

It was the first time that I had to carry myself in a manner that was “disarming”. I had to be extra nice and maintain a little “white” in my voice. I had to pretend that certain things didn’t bother me and I had to accept that “one of my best friends is black” was code for “I’m actually not racist”.

In recent times, we’ve seen this systemic racism come to a head and the people have responded accordingly. The Queen’s city is burning. How are the people supposed to respond. They feel ignored, marginalized and victimized. What’s even more disconcerting are the people (namely whites) who say things like “all lives matter” and “he should have complied with the police commands”. Like how many black people have be killed before we come to the realization that there are erroneous ways of thinking plaguing our nation.

Black lives matter does not mean they are the only lives that matter nor does it mean blue lives don’t matter, it means WE MATTER TOO! We matter because we’re the ones who are the victims to these tragedies. You wanna fix the issue? Stop ignoring us! When you say “All lives matter”- you are effectively IGNORING us!

“Just comply”…just shut up! If a person does not comply with the orders given by the police, does that entitle the police to shoot them?! If it’s not racism I don’t know what it is. It’s a fear of the black man and they use that fear to kill us. An entire race of people are being exterminated and alas, we find fault with Colin Kaepernick’s protest.

Instead of getting involved to solve the problem of racism, we have people out there sharing videos of cops hugging people and cops being good citizens. Again instead of bringing the real issue to light, you deflect to the narrative that not all cops are bad. Great! I get that not all cops are bad, but that doesn’t solve the problem at hand.

You can’t get mad at the people rioting and looting if you’re not going to do anything about the issue and problem our country is facing with racism.

We are people. We are humans. We deserve to inherit this land just as much as anyone else. Our lives matter and we will fight for those rights to no end. No matter what.

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