“Never be afraid to raise your voice for honesty, truth, and compassion against injustice, lying, and greed. If people all over the world would do this, it would change the world.” – William Faulkner
Black and brown lives are treated unjustly in America and that is, just simply, the truth. Facts can not be ignored when people are treated differently because of their skin color.
When it comes to things like employment, the incarceration rate, home ownership, or even more recently Covid-19 and increasing police brutality, there are significant gaps for people with darker skin pigmentation. Our country was originally built just for white men to succeed, and we are sadly still seeing effects of that.
I know first hand what it’s like to be treated differently because of the color of my skin.
Even being mixed with White and Black has its own form of prejudices. People I know who are not a person of color can’t tell me what it’s like being black in America, because they will never have to understand or go through certain barriers just because of their color.
I have been alone in elevators with women who will clutch their purses as if they should be scared or uncomfortable around me.
I have been told “wow you sound very educated…more than most black people.”
I have been told I sound “white.”
I even fear traveling to new places at times, because I don’t know how people will perceive me.
These instances are not just things I go through, these are things people of color go through on a daily basis. The personal things I have dealt with are small compared to people of color that have either been hurt or killed, as a result of people being in fear of another person’s skin tone .
“Freedom and equality-regardless of religion or class status-were radical new ideas when the United States was formed. At the same time the U.S. economy was based on the abduction and enslavement of African Americans, the displacement and genocide of Indigenous people, and the annexation of Mexican lands.
“Racism is deeply embedded in the fabric of our society. It is not limited to a single act or person. Nor does it move back and forth, one day benefiting whites and another day benefiting people of color,” wrote Robin Diangelo, the author of White Fragility.
Although African Americans account for less than 13 percent of the U.S. population, they are killed by police at more than twice the rate of White Americans.
Blacks are two times likely to die from Covid-19. The coronavirus has hit Latinos and Indigenous people harder as well.
On average, Black men in the US receive sentences that are 19.1 percent longer than those of white men convicted for the same crime.
In this country, Black workers are less likely than White workers to be employed in a job that is consistent with their level of education.
And as of this year, the homeownership rate is 25-30 percent higher for white Americans than it is for Blacks and Hispanics.
These are just a few reasons why Racial Equality movements exist. Because there is a legacy of structural discrimination in this country that has limited access to health care and wealth for people of color.
Movements across the country have been created to bring light to this situation. One of which has turned into one of the biggest movements in US history:
Black Lives Matter was created to call out the wrong in the deep rooted racism our system has been standing on. Black Lives Matter is saying our lives matter too and we all need to be seen and treated equally. After the life of 17 year old Trayvon Martin was taken unexpectedly by a police officer, rage was lit underneath people that led to the great movement it is today.
Every single human being in not only this country, but the entire world bleeds the same color. So fair treatment shouldn’t be a privilege for a select few.
People of color are being attacked and we can not ignore that. Our country needs to do better by calling out the hate and the division, and start bringing everyone together. It’s bringing change through taking to the streets and letting people of all colors voices be heard, getting into what the great Civil Rights leader John Lewis called “good trouble.”
With hate coming from the higher positions in our country, and the bad portrayal from the media, the fight is an uphill battle.
Yes, participators in the movement may act out of anger, but the core of the movement is just trying to get Black voices heard. And the people are saying enough is enough. The voices of the silent are coming out of the shadows.
Oftentimes, there are many sides to social issues. However, there is not “another side” to racism. Racism no matter the circumstances, is always wrong. So let’s call it out for what it truly is.
People are finally discussing what can be done to make the lives of black people better.
Life shouldn’t be harder because of the color of your skin. We are supposed to bring everyone together like the Black Lives Matter protests do, and show that our country can be better than this.
Because all lives can’t matter until Black lives matter.
The topics of racial inequality, systemic racism, and quite frankly, white superiority are deep conversations to have. But we have to as a society recognize what goes on in the world around us. Because we can’t try to fix something that people aren’t even addressing.
My great-great-grandmother used to say if you lined the lightest person in the world to the darkest person, they all have a heart and soul. So we have to keep fighting for justice and hope for a world that will see ALL people as human.