Editor's Note: Let's Heal Together
I'm afraid of having a child. Imagine uttering those words.
Who would ever think that people in my generation would be afraid of having an African-American child? A child that scares people because of his skin tone. A child that may not make it home from school because his/her skin makes him a target. I never thought I would be writing these words in 2020, but with people being unapologetically racist, I have to think about these things.
Some of you reading this will never understand that fear, nor do you know how to empathize because it's something you'll never have to experience. Growing up, you're taught that black was terrible, and white was good. You choose the lighter-skinned Barbie because you were taught they looked better, and their hair was more manageable. Can you imagine being a kid told to emulate a different race because they look better? Or if you're not as good as them, you'll never be hired? Simple things like that are taught in black homes "you have to be twice as good as them to compete," imagine explaining to your child they have to excel at an exceedingly higher level to equate to someone's basic attempts.
Over and over, I tried to formulate the proper words or stories to convey my true feelings concerning the protests and murder of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor David McAtee, and countless others.
Growing up, I was raised to love both sides of my family; my father is biracial, and my mother is black. I'm aware that most families don't have that privilege, the privilege of learning love and compassion for people regardless of color. It wasn't until I reached school that I began to read the ugly history of America, the enslavement of people who looked like me, by people who looked like those who loved me - who raised me. Naturally, I asked questions and read, even more, to understand why who and what; to find ways of making sure history didn't repeat itself even if my contribution was small.
At times, this world can scare you. You want to shy away from who you are because of your skin color, something you or I can help. I'm afraid of thinking of having children, more importantly, a son because of the ugliness in this world, and some of you reading this will never feel that fear. The fear that people are scared of you because of your skin tone. But luckily, I have this hope in me, that one day, we will follow the words of Dr. King, that my race will no longer be spoken over my character.
We are so scared to have a conversation as a nation; it is now being forced into news headlines. We need that. We can never get over fear if we don't find the root of the problem and try and fix it. As a country, we are more than color. This beautiful country houses so many amazing cultures and skin tones that should be celebrated.
Its time that we celebrate as true Americans. It was a country founded on the principles of being a haven for immigrants who wanted freedom and peace. Immigrants who wanted to create a country that stood for justice and liberty; to show the world that no matter what ethnicity you are, you are born free.
We can never learn to progress as a nation until we can all understand that we are the same underneath all this melanin—word to Cam Newton. While hate can still rear its ugly head, people from different backgrounds are coming together to fight for a better world. The news and sometimes even social media can only cause us to view one side, but if you go in neighborhoods, you will see acts of kindness, and you will see people of all races protesting… the movement is happening. My generation is tired of being plagued by the silliness of skin tone, and with influential voices, we can make attempts to heal ourselves.
If you want to be apart of healing this world, please use this document as a resource to help answer any question you have. If there is anything left unanswered, please reach out to us, and we will help! Isaac, Jonah, and I are more than willing to help bridge the gap by any means necessary.
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