I am a person of color. And I am hurting. I am hurting because in the year 2020, I have to look at my 3-year-old nephew and 1-year old niece and think,
“One day, they will face discrimination. One day, I will have to hold them when someone calls them out of their name for being multiracial. For being something that they could not help but be born into.
I hurt for living in Los Angeles county, for feeling trapped because my skin color and my circumstances means that there is still prejudice. I hurt because people would rather pretend it’s not happening then face reality. I, Nat from Guidethisway, am Mexican and black. And I am scared.
I am terrified.
I am the daughter of a hardworking Mexican mom who has done nothing but raise her children like she was supposed to. I am the daughter of an African-American nurse who was on the technical frontlines of Covid-19 every day, seven days a week, for the past three months. I am the daughter of two people who could be targeted by police and struck down simply because their skin color mandates this twisted and cruel fate. I am a college student, disabled, brown, and ever afraid that speaking out will have me silenced. I cannot protest without fear of injury because of my disability. I am the aunt to three kids who will never understand what it’s like to be called a mutt because they look different. In 2030, 2035, 2040, I will have to tell them. I will have to explain that we have been trying to advance socially, but humanity is stuck on the one factor we cannot change. We live in a world where the people meant to protect us can also harm us because a badge protects them. That is frightening to even fathom explaining.
I found solace and a new meaning of home in a person who is not of color. I fear for him. I fear for the people who will prematurely judge him and those closest to him simply because they had the misfortune to be born looking like “the bad guy”. I fear for everyday that we grow closer, of what societal norms will pose a threat to who we are and who we didn’t choose to fall for, but as luck has it, we did anyways.
Moreover, I am angry. I am angry that I cannot do more. I am angry that I have to fear for my parents’ safety when they leave the house. I fear for my best friend who is of color being hurt simply for living near the occurrence of riots, much like myself. I fear for my other friend, who is not of color but who loves all and gives his all but will still be judged because he is white. I am angry at the people who so easily sit behind their keyboards spouting lines from Dr. King and claim solidarity with their “brothers and sisters” but who still sit comfortably in their privilege,, unafraid, uncensored. It is one thing to recognize your privilege. It is a whole other matter to claim to be in solidarity and still refusing to stay quiet instead of lifting the voices of persons of color above yours.
Be quiet. Do not be silent but BE QUIET. Share, like, comment, subscribe to persons of color who speak about the hurt, fear, and pain of being accidentally born into this shitty lottery of life. DO NOT be silent but recognize that now is not your time to speak, but your time to listen and push the reach of others’ voices. Protest, but remain firm instead of diving behind persons of color for protection when things get out of hand. Recognize your privilege and strangle it into submission by doing what you can and BEING QUIET. I am not here to educate you on what is appropriate. My skin color does not exist as a teaching tool, just like my blindness is not here as your educational tool. If you want to pretend that everything is fine, go ahead. Do not expect many to join you. I, and so many others, are angry. Understand that and realize that if you are not of color, you are untouchable. People born into the good lottery of life aren’t living in fear. They are untouchable because they looked “just right”. We were supposed to have abolished racism over forty years ago. Where are we now, United States? Still living in fear, that’s where.