Growing up I really struggled with the color of my skin. I had no one around to teach me that it was beautiful, that it was strong, that it was me. Of course my mom did the best she could raising me but she didn’t have my hair. She didn’t have my nose or my lips and she didn’t have my skin. It took me a long time to learn how to embrace who I am and the learning hasn’t stopped.
I had the stereotypical ‘deadbeat’ father that wasn’t around and had multiple children with multiple different women. It made me hate black men when I was a little girl because I assumed they were all the same and they were all like my dad. Ironically, that is what we are dealing with now. People that think WE are all the same. ‘He was a thug.’ ‘He had a criminal record.’ ‘He owed this much in child support.’ Even if one of those ring true – the punishment should never be death by those who are supposed to serve and protect us.
I received a tweet that said something along the lines of, ‘well what about black on black crime’ and how they don’t see me up in arms about that. Of course black on black crime is a problem, and we mourn the loss of those souls too. But a white person killing a black person because of the color of their skin is a painful reminder of our country’s dismal racial history and just how far we haven’t come since the days of slavery, segregation, and lynchings.
I’m a firm believer in standing up for what you believe in. It’s so cliche, but its honestly one of the easiest things you can do. We all have a voice and we all have the ability to use it. There are things I believe in that I’m not really impacted by but because its common sense and because its wrong I’m going to say something about it. I’m going to fight for you and you and you because that’s what we should be doing for each other. I will never know what it’s like to grow up in a body that I felt wasn’t really mine. I will never know what it’s like to feel judged for who my heart chooses to fall in love with. But you better bet your ass I’m fighting for that because the people we are fighting for are our sisters and our brothers, our family, our friends, our teammates, our coworkers or maybe even a person you exchange smiles with as you pass by on the street. We need to work together. Gay marriage would never have been passed if the only people who fought for it were gay people themselves. We need each other to make things happen.
If we don’t stand up for each other, nothing will ever change. We always seem to spread our love during the most difficult of times. It now needs to be an everyday thing. I’ve been thinking about what I can do and the only thing I’ve got is me. I am the answer to the question. WE are the answer to the question. We always are. How do you break something down? Persistence. I’m thankful that I don’t still have the ignorant heart of the little girl I once was. I’ve grown up and I’ve learned that not everyone is the same and that everyone deserves a chance to tell their own story. The people that have passed away from police brutality shouldn’t have had to tell their story through their deaths. We need to stand up and tell our story now.