Isabelle Torres, Staff Writer |
Finding the right words to express the oppression and anger that I have never experienced is not easy, to say the least. I have been privileged to have never experienced the racist hate that is used to discriminate against people of color. There are many fine lines that I would never want to cross, as I will never experience the world in the way a black person in America will. Based on my skin color alone I will never have to worry about my safety or life. I will never know what it is like to be black nor will I ever claim to know, but I will stand in solidarity.
I hear people say they are sick of seeing Black Lives Matter or Blue Lives Matter and they just want this to be over with. Do you change the channel when you hear it on the news, do you aimlessly scroll past that lengthy post on social media, have you read past racism in a textbook? It is a luxury to read and listen and learn about America’s poor history of mistreating black people or the wrongful death of a black person. It is a privilege to never experience the scrutiny of being judged solely on the color of your skin.
In the past months, the Black Lives Movement has made waves in history since the tragic death of George Floyd in May. Since then, there have been numerous wrongful deaths of black people by police. If someone murders another person it is standard to assume the murderer would be arrested and charged, so why is this not happening with the men who killed Breonna Taylor and many more? Protests in support of the Black Lives Matter movement have become frequent and larger as support is growing and people are becoming much more frustrated with the lack of action. Blue Lives Matter supporters have called out the protest as just looting and the destruction of streets. Why do the protests make you angrier than the death of an innocent black person? George Floyd’s last words were “momma I can’t breathe.” No mother should ever have to hear this as they watch their son being murdered. A parent should never have to worry about the life of their child when they leave the house.
I have seen white privileged people who know nothing regarding discrimination publicly mock the lives of those who died at the hands of police. People try to dig deep into these victim’s past to justify their deaths as if they have never made a mistake themselves or that their pasts warrant death. These victims are leaving behind children, parents, spouses, friends and family, people who care for them and love them. Others have wished death upon these black people and praised the cops for doing their jobs. Why would anyone wish death upon someone they have never met? Why is it okay to poke fun at the loss of another person? Do these people have any compassion or empathy? Families are losing loved ones and outsiders feel as those they have the right to judge someone they do not know. Why do they not see the harm in posting a meme about racism not existing anymore?
When a black person comes home after work, they do not get to simply take off the color of their skin the way a cop has the luxury to take off his blue shirt. Unless you are a smurf, there is no such thing as a blue life. I do not believe that all cops are bad, and I honor that they do not have an easy job. They risk their lives to protect their community and support their families but at the end of the day they signed up for the job, a black person did not sign up to be persecuted.
I was hesitant to bring up this topic, fearing that I would inflict on the feelings or pain people of color must be going through right now. That is my privilege, that all I’m worried about is saying the wrong thing… not my life. I now see that all I must do is offer my support, to speak out and educate those around me who do not understand. I will choose to raise my children to be kind and loving, to vote in support of my morals and to advocate for those that are silenced. This does not feel like taking a political stance but standing up for what I believe in and doing what is right. The end of racism should not be a political debate it should be a basic human right granted to any person of color.
I understand that I will never understand, however, I stand.