Diary Entry 3
In the streets, they speak of bigots and burglars and blame and I stare up and look at the sky in torment. Today there is a protest at the local high school. A racist message was found on a computer in the library detailing lynchings. The message was so graphic and vile it sent me into a shock I haven’t come out of. While walking to class, I hear the blades of a helicopter slicing the air and know without a doubt it is related to the protests happening in the streets of Berkeley. An anger festers inside me, unlike anything I’ve felt before while sitting in my lecture. Anger is a bit of an understatement at this point, I’m LIVID. Throughout my college education, I have come to a few fundamental truths, one being: we are not born equal. Want an example? My good friend Andrew was born into a world where he has had to continually question his safety because he is black, he wasn’t given ample resources to develop his interests in math and science, he often had to worry about where his next meal was coming from, he was plagued with having racial slurs slung at him while growing up and developing what his identity meant, the injustices go on. Meanwhile, I have been privileged with being able to play with water guns in front of my home without being shot, get extra resources and attention in my academics if needed, be supported with a healthy network, and live in relative security. There is something completely wrong with this picture and even if we are adamant in only seeing our perspective, we should challenge ourselves to look beyond. How can I live in one of the most “progressive” cities in America and still find myself constantly battling with institutions of backwardness and hate?
To add fuel to the fire, I had an argument with a close friend of mine who has never really had a filter. I guess I should have known better than to have shared my thoughts with him. Upon telling him about how upset and hurt I was with the unfolding of the day’s events, he replies, “So have you completely bought into this whole #BlackLivesMatter thing?” I implode at this point. Do you mean the movement that is fighting for the end of the visible and non-visible violence black women and men are afflicted with every day of their lives? Have I bought into the crazy notion that a 16-year-old girl in South Carolina caught texting doesn't deserve to be slammed to the floor by a 34-year-old male? Am I sold on the argument that we should be investing in the community services, social entrepreneurs, and academics of black communities instead of adding more officers, weapons, and armed vehicles to their police force?
Yes. A million times yes.
I’m not afraid to articulate that anymore. I may not be black, but I will do everything in my power to articulate their message, concerns, and demands as best I can and encourage others to do the same. So, to the “friend” of mine who I will probably never see eye to eye with, BLACK LIVES WILL ALWAYS MATTER.