I am Tired.
I am tired, because to you, my melanin speaks more than my mind ever could.
I am tired, because you know nothing of my community, but I have to put in an added effort to be part of yours — full well knowing I will be excluded anyway.
I am tired, because I shouldn’t have to worry about whether other people will accept the way I look, pray, speak, eat, or dress; but I do, because I see fellow immigrants attacked, criticized, and even killed for celebrating their own customs, language, faiths, traditions, and cultures.
I am tired, because to you my language ‘sounds funny’ — instead of being a testament to the richness of thousands of years of history.
I am tired, because if I don’t shave — you might not only assume my religion and ethnicity, but also label me a threat through your syllogistic fallacy.
I am tired, because my efforts and accomplishments will always be diminished- because I was given ‘undue advantages’ since I am ‘not white’.
I am tired, because I have to prove myself ‘a little extra’, even though I am just as qualified as others (“I must work twice as hard, to get half as much”).
I am tired, because I am supposed to be a 7/11 clerk or a taxi driver who speaks poor English- not a college graduate, who speaks great English, and “stole your job”.
I am tired, because I have to nod and smile when someone mispronounces my name- because correcting someone on my own identity is ‘rude’.
I am tired, because my name is too foreign for my resume- so my chances of securing a job diminish.
I am tired, because if I find offense- I am viewed as hostile and defensive, not vulnerable and hurt.
I am tired, because if I challenge systems of oppression- I am almost always immediately met with, “just leave if you don’t like it here” or “get out”.
I am tired, because I have to give detailed explanations about why things bother me; knowing that if I don’t — my discomfort will be instantly invalidated.
I am tired, because if I say “my life matters” — you insist on thinking that I said that ‘my life matters more than yours’.
I am tired, because I am challenged everyday into accepting these realities when they are completely out of my own hands.
I am tired, because I deserve not to be so frayed.
I am tired.
*As a straight, employed, cis-male, able-bodied, anglophone- I acknowledge that I am afforded many privileges that so many others are not granted, and I can’t even imagine the hardships that people without those privileges go through. As we grow ever tired of being denied the equality we deserve, I hope we can soon ‘rest’ in power.*