“That girl that was screaming on the steps, made me so uncomfortable. To me she just seemed like, I hate to say it, but the angry black girl stereotype”
This week has left me wrestling with so many emotions. We are willing to fight and protest against the injustices that are happening to our people. These protests have been going on since Tuesday, but these cases and these injustices have been going on for lifetimes. I catch myself in shock sometimes, reading what my classmates have to say. People who I know, old neighbors, friends from high school, kids from home, kids who I see everyday, adults, professors, teachers, alumni have all been so quick to take to social media and say just nasty things. They call us “savages” “monsters” and “idiots”.
I’m living in a community now where I see the way people are looking at me differently. I get glares walking down the street and it is all because of the color of my skin. I’m living in a community where they say the President of the University should have released bull dogs on students or power hosed us off the steps. I’m living in a community where they curse the President of the University, for holding his hands up with us in support. I’m living in a community where they say, we should all “go back where we came from.” I’m living in a community where I am no longer apart of the community. I have been isolated and I have been thrown away. And I know it’s because they’re frustrated because it’s their safe reality that is getting challenged by a truth that they are not willing to accept. “He deserved it.” “He was a thug” “It’s not fair, get over it.” The reality of the situation is not their own reality. People in passing say that the protests make them uncomfortable. That it’s “so close to finals week, go protest somewhere else.” I saw someone say something about how this was irrelevant to Eric Garner because protests were happening before “they even knew what happened with Eric Garner.” No man, of course we knew what happened with Eric Garner, and we knew long before you did, because we were paying attention.
I find myself shaking because I know I am in the minority even when it comes to my beliefs. Something I think is so easy to understand, something that I think is just common sense, is seen as wrong. People around me are talking about things that seem irrelevant, because they only think about the protests or these issues only some of the time. They want to talk about work, sports, TV shows, parties, but I am just so consumed because my reality is getting eaten alive. And not only eaten alive, it’s getting thrown away. I am told that these things don’t happen to people now because it is 2014 but injustices like this aren’t just what you see on the news, it happens every day.
This is so much bigger than Mike Brown and Eric Garner. This is about my brother. My father. I see Mike Brown, Eric Garner, Trayvon Martin in people who I love, because just the wrong perception of them by someone else with a weapon or a position of power could end their life and then the world would tell me that they deserved it. This is us leading a fight against police brutality for everyone, not just for black people in America. When they’re done taking black people’s rights away, they’re coming for all of your white rights. So don’t think you’re safe.