I felt that in the event of the world speaking out against systemic racism in our society, that it would be fitting to dedicate today’s At Home segment to the cause. I spent an afternoon in my community protesting against the brutality that black people have endured, and continue to endure in our society. This is not my typical Sunday topic, but if I had to think about it, there would never be an appropriate time to get uncomfortable. People of many nationalities, joined in solidarity at the memorial park, sharing smiles and huddling together in the midst of this pandemic.
Yes, it’s true. The world is in a major pandemic crisis, but it was worth the risk to be together today. For too long we have seen the unjust treatment of black men, women and children. From the workplace, to the schoolyard, there isn’t one place in the world that is safe to be black, unapologetically. Overlooked for the big promotion, discouraged from getting a higher education, labelled in class as “problematic”, or simply ignored on the street because they do not qualify for a proper greeting. Wait, there’s more… stopped by policemen because of how you wear your hair, what your clothes look like, or just being in a neighbourhood other than “your own”.
We can also mention that police may stop you if you are jogging, wearing a hoodie, buying candy in a store, or driving a car that seems “too expensive” for you to afford. Black people don’t just get pulled over for this, but they get abused for this. They DIE for this! Can you imagine using a counterfeit $20 bill unknowingly, only to have police raid you in the middle of the street, handcuff you face down, putting their knee on the back of your neck? The hate is so great, it’s grotesque. It darkens the spirit and makes one a monster. It is a tragedy when people using power and authority to manipulate, and take down those they feel are not their equal.
Did we think that racism disappeared with the right for black people to vote? The right for black people to sit at the front of the bus? The right to eat in a white-only restaurant? Did it disappear when black kids could sit in the classroom with everyone else? Or maybe when the world was graced with the first black president of the US, leader of the free world? Even he was disrespected in his role at the White House. You can go anywhere in the world, and the hate will follow you.
I too, carry so many burdens about the hardships of being a black woman. Success seems so much harder to achieve, my points of view undervalued, and my self-image, rejected. When you see my achievements, consider the relentless struggle just to be considered. When you hear what I have to say, remember that I had to scream for you to hear me, and when I am called beautiful, it was sown with a thousand tears. I am a black woman, and I am all too familiar with the discrimination that black people face everyday.
We stand up today because we believe that everyone should be treated equally, and respected in this world, wherever they choose to walk. We stand up today because we want to take back the opportunities lost, and reclaim the value that was stolen by hate. We stand for our children, so that they could have a better chance at a life with no limits, or fears. When any human suffers, we all suffer. Don’t just stand by and watch. We need voices that speak up, arms that hold up, and determintation that won’t give up. We need everyone to stand with us because black lives matter! I love you all. Happy Sunday everyone!