The last few days have been tumultuous to say the least. Honestly, it is hard to put into words how I feel and the emotions that I have been experiencing. There is so much violence and hate in the world. I cannot imagine what it is like being a person of color in the world. You would think that after so many years, we would have found a way to evolve and learn to love each other regardless of our skin color. We do not pick the bodies we are born into and those bodies do not define us. At least, they shouldn't define us or how the world perceive us.
With the recent shootings involving #AltonSterling & #PhilandoCastile and the sniper attacks in Dallas, my perception on the world has totally changed. Just the other day, I came across the below post on Instagram.
Powerful image, right? I felt compelled to comment and guess what I said...
This is such a powerful message and image. Here's to hope. #AllLivesMatter
I wasn't wrong about the fact that that image and message are powerful and we can all agree that we need hope right now, but why the hell did I put that hashtag? I said #AllLivesMatter because I thought it was helpful. I thought I was being inclusive of everyone. It's funny how our views can change so fast. It only took one person to help open my eyes to reality.
cmplxbro You missed the point. All lives will matter when #BlackLivesMatter
Seems so simple. Why didn't I see this before? It's not like I was blind to all that's been happening. I saw all the stories all over the news and social media, but I didn't really see them or feel them or experience them. That all changed this week. I forced myself to watch the video that Philando Castile's girlfriend posted on Facebook. I made myself see the horror that was the end of his life. For a busted tail light? For doing what he was asked to do, which was retrieve his wallet, that man died. Even the governor said this wouldn't of happened if they were white. This is the reality. This is the world we are living in.
It has taken me far too long to recognize white privilege. I, we all, have been silent for far too long. We need to open our eyes and raise our voices. #BlackLivesMatter is not saying that all other lives don't matter, but it is forcing us to own the systematic racism that we all are perpetuating, whether we know it or not.
And now, I am disgusted/dismayed/bewildered/dumbfounded/disheartened by all of it.
What am I supposed to tell my son when he inevitably asks me about all the hate in the world? What am I supposed to say when he wants to know why some people think of his friends as less than? How do I tell him that our friends of color have to live by different rules than us? Why they have guidelines on how to act around law enforcement and he essentially doesn't? What do I say to him?
I am making it my mission to educate myself and to figure out how to educate my son on white privilege, social inequalities and racism. And when I am armed with the knowledge I need, I am going to tell anyone that will listen. We need to stand together now. We need to listen. We need to hear their stories and help shoulder their pain.
We have to stop this silence. Are you with us?