2020 has been the most suffocating year. I am trying to maintain optimism because I have a lot of things to be grateful for, but inside this twisted world, I am struggling to find the light. I’m struggling to find hope. I’m struggling to find a sense of normalcy. I’m struggling — but my struggles are not as painful as the ones I’ve observed in the Black community.
Our society has demonized and dehumanized Black bodies for centuries. This can be seen by the incarceration rates, educational outcomes, and, very clearly today, with police brutality that has become pervasive in the Black community.
What if there was no violence, no blood, no tears, and no fear? What if the world was full of harmony, happiness, healing, and health? What if there was no pain, only promise? The “what ifs” inundate my mind constantly. As I read the news each morning, I feel this immense pain. People say violence has become normalized in our society, but, for me, it always feels like the same heartbreak. It’s a daily ritual, where I wake up, read a headline, and notice the body count and violent encounters increasing. The pain overwhelms me. I didn’t know these people, but now I’ll never even have the opportunity. They’re gone. They had dreams and desires. They had stories and songs. They had potential and prospects. They were people just like us. Though I wish this was fiction, it is indeed fact—and so I hope that I can see some change or at least contribute to a narrative where laughing, living, and loving become the new normal. Where the color red isn’t so pervasive, and instead, yellow sunbeams blind us with happiness, and the only tears that may form come from laughter. One day soon.
I feel naive wanting to witness this type of future — because, for so long, the reality of the world has been so different. I have lived through a time where racially-driven violence has become so common. I have to be honest, I don’t understand. I don’t. I don’t understand how a human being can be so inhumane. How can a person be capable of such inhumanity? How can someone kill someone? Hurt them? Erase them? Do these people hold no morals, values, humanity, love, or light?
I know I sound so naive. I know the world contains dark corridors — and I recognize that not everything will be a blissful paradise, but how can someone just end someone’s life?
This is something I will never understand. But, I’m continuing to learn that I have to use myself as a vehicle to promote change. I will speak up. I will keep people accountable. I will do whatever I can do to end injustice in my community.
I know these statements don’t take away the pain and fear those in the Black community are experiencing. Words can only do so much, and though I know my words are meaningless — because though I hold these beliefs, they won’t change the fact that racially-driven violence exists, and it’s not likely to end with simple statements.
I will continue to stand up. I will stand with you. I will hold you. I will pray for you. I will scream for you. I will love you. Because you do matter. Your life is so valuable. And for those who can’t hear it BLACK LIVES MATTER.
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