Ever since I can remember I knew there was a cost for being black In America. I paid far less of a price than many but I’ve endured racism.
At 10, a white kid yelled the N-word at me and told me to get out of a pool because he feared my blackness would wash off and contaminate the water.
At 13, I confronted two white kids for calling my brother spot because was black.
At 15, I was playing ice hockey in New Hampshire when a girl called me the N-word during a faceoff. At the end of the game, she refused to shake my hand. She snatched the glove off my hand and threw it. Neither her coach nor mine said anything. That Fall, while playing on the men’s JV baseball team, I was called the N-word multiple times. But, it was when the word was shouted at me by three young White men in Hanover with a gun rack their truck that I thought the color of my skin alone might put me in harm’s way.
At 16, white kids I grew up with took a trip to Harlem and told me they were scared of “those people;” black people because they’re violent, carry knives and steal. I reminded them that I was one of those people.
At 18, during my first year at college, a professor stopped a lecture on social justice to specifically ask the black and Latino students how many of our relatives were in jail or have been arrested.
At 20, the white mother of a guy I dated told me she wanted her son to date other kinds of people.
At 26, I had a colleague at work ask me how it felt to be the first person in my family to have gone to college. I was not.
At 37, an entire bar full of people in Massachusetts fell silent when I walked in with my white friend.
I never truly felt like I, my brothers, my nephew, relatives or friends might be murdered by people who seek to oppress, keep us in line until now. It’s this uneasy feeling that’s sparking the uprising; that’s prompting me to shout out, “No More. Change must come.” So, I might march peacefully, write my Congressional and local leaders about more police oversight and harsher punishments. I’ll blog, speak and write about injustice until I feel at peace in my country again.
#GeorgeFloyd #Racerelations #DemandJustice #AfricanAmerican #riots #racism