Wednesday, July 6, 2016

O’er the Land of the ..Not So Free!


Independence according to the Merriam-Webster dictionary is defined as freedom from outside control or support : the state of being independent. Freedom is defined as the quality or state of being free: as a :  the absence of necessity, coercion, or constraint in choice or action. 

Seems quite simple, right? Although both of these definitions sound easy said and easy read, it’s never been so simple to truly live this out.

At this point I along with so many others are really wanting to know, "What does is really mean to be free in America?" More than 400 years after we were forcibly brought here we are still seen as the issue. You still want to murder our sons and daughters, our mothers and fathers. You take off the shackles and tell us that we are free, but then you implement all of your systems and policies that work to keep us bound. You, America this great country, tells us that our lives are worthless and that we need to go back to where we came from. As if more than half of us even asked to be here. You, create these social constructs that work to cripple and deteriorate our culture and community. Then tell us we have no foundation. Then you want to force feed us the lie and foolishness that you see no color and we, Black people, are the racist ones.

My Junior year in high school I experienced an incident that I will never forget. I was in my AP English class, which was majority minority students, and our White Southern teacher gave us a prompt. Instead of us writing about it, we had an open discussion during that class period. The prompt read. "Do you think racism will ever end?" We all kind of made a "tuh" sound and simply replied, no. Much to our surprise she felt totally different. She said that in her heart she honestly believed that racism will one day end. Her reasoning was that, this is what she taught her "little bitties" in Sunday school. While we were all glad that she was hopeful and teaching the right thing, we knew what country we grew up in. She began to cry and it broke my heart but I had to be honest with her. As politely as I could, I told her that this was just not our reality. It was great that her heart desired for all of us to be treated the same but the truth was and is, we aren't.

Fast forward seven years, what my classmates and I told her is still true. We live in a society that seems to be regressing or that never has made progress to begin with, I'm going with the latter. Before we move forward, here's a gentle reminder of what we are now saying

In all honesty, it's numbing. The fact that we, as a group of people, have to even remind other human beings that just as much as they have value, so do we. So.. Dear People who are not Black and could never tell us what being Black feels like. Here are a few FYI's

  • Don't try to silence us. With all due respect, you are free to have your opinions of us and how we feel but you aren't allowed to tell us we are overreacting or to be quiet. We can be upset, we do not need your validation. In case y'all didn't know. 

  • It's really ok if you don't get it. I mean, if you don't get it fine. Keep it moving. If you're trying to get it, listen. Don't assume you know what we feel because you never could.

  • Don't act like you care if you don't. We're honestly fine without your fake concern.

  • Ignorance ain't bliss. Don't be a troll. If you honestly disagree, fine. But just trying to get a reaction is dumb and y'all annoying.

  • We are a new generation, we are not our grandparents. This is not the era for y'all to clap and not receive that clap back! WE ARE NOT AFRAID OF YOU OR YOUR OPINIONS! 

Something has to give. To my people, grow better and do better because the change will start with us. I ask myself all the time, what is going to make us move? And now I'm asking you all the same thing, what will it take for us to rise above this? How many more hashtags will we become before we have had enough? Educate yourselves, and let's make moves. At any moment it could be anyone of us. How many times will we say their names, put our hands up so they won't shoot, or whisper we can't breathe? How many times do our hearts have to break? How much longer...will we do nothing?


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