An Open Letter to White America: I'm Not Afraid

An Open Letter to White America: I'm Not Afraid

I'm brown and I'm proud.
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Dear White America,

I'm colored and I'm proud.

You can attempt to strike me down with your institutionalized racism but you will fail. I am intelligent and I am brown. I am kind and I am brown. I am courageous and I am brown. I am gracious and I am brown.


I am flawed, but it is not because I am brown. I am flawed because I am human. Somehow in the time it took the human race to get here, you forgot that you were human too. You are not better than me because your skin in lighter. You are not smarter than me because your skin is lighter. You are not stronger than me because your skin is lighter. You are not kinder than me because your skin is lighter. You are not less flawed because your skin is lighter.



Understand.

Understand that we have the same bones 206 bones in our bodies. Understand that our hearts beat the same. Understand that our minds, though they think differently, function the same. Understand that we are equal.

Let go.

Let go of the bigotry you've been taught to hold so close. Let go of the hatred that stems from century old beliefs and ideals. Let go of the irrational notion that because our skin pigmentation varies, so does the value of our lives.

Dear White America,

I am brown and I am not afraid.

I am not afraid to be different and cultured. I am not afraid of jumping over the obstacles set out to cause my failure. I am not afraid of the cop with pale skin and trigger finger.

Pull the trigger.

You can shoot us in our streets. You can discriminate in the workplace. You can ignore us in the schools. But you'll never change that God made me BROWN and you will never change that I am proud to be BROWN.

Sincerely,

The Proud "Colored" American


Cover Image Credit: Yoselyn Feliz

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A Senior's Last Week Of High School

The bittersweet end.
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Well, this is it. This is what we've worked so hard the last four years - who am I kidding - basically what seems like our whole lives for. This is the very last week we will set foot as a student in our high school's hallways. As most schools are getting ready to set their seniors free at last, it all begins to set in - the excitement, the anxiousness, and also the sentiment and nostalgia.

For seniors, the years since our first day as a freshman at the bottom of the high school totem pole have seemed endless, but as we look back on these last few weeks, we realize that this year in particular has gone by extraordinarily fast. It was just yesterday that we were sitting in our classrooms for the very first time, going to our 'last first' practice, and getting our first taste of the (very real) "senioritis". With all that's going on in our lives right now, from sports and clubs, finals, and the sought after graduation ceremony, it's hard to really sit down and think about how our lives are all about to become drastically different. For some it's moving out, and for some it's just the thought of not seeing your best friend on the way to fourth period English; either way, the feels are real. We are all in a tug of war with the emotions going on inside of us; everything is changing - we're ready, but we're not.

THE GOOD. Our lives are about to begin! There is a constant whirlwind of excitement. Senior awards, getting out of school early, parties, and of course Graduation. We are about to be thrust into a world of all new things and new people. Calling our own shots and having the freedom we have so desperately desired since the teenage years began is right around the corner. Maybe the best part is being able to use these new things surrounding you to grow and open your mind and even your heart to ideas you never could before. We get the chance to sink or swim, become our own person, and really begin to find ourselves.

Things we don't even know yet are in the works with new people we haven't even met yet. These friendships we find will be the ones to last us a lifetime. The adventures we experience will transform into the advice we tell our own children and will become the old tales we pass down to our grandkids when they come to visit on the weekends. We will probably hate the all night study sessions, the intensity of finals week, and the overpowering stress and panic of school in general, just like we did in high school... But it will all be worth it for the memories we make that will outlive the stress of that paper due in that class you absolutely hate. As we leave high school, remember what all the parents, teachers, coaches, and mentors are telling you - this are the best times of our lives!

THE BAD. The sentimental emotions are setting in. We're crying, siblings are tearing up, and parents are full-out bawling. On that first day, we never expected the school year to speed by the way it did. Suddenly everything is coming to an end. Our favorite teachers aren't going to be down the hall anymore, our best friends probably won't share a class with us, we won't be coming home to eat dinner with our families...

We all said we wanted to get out of this place, we couldn't wait, we were ready to be on our own; we all said we wouldn't be "so emotional" when the time came, but yet here we are, wishing we could play one more football game with our team or taking the time to make sure we remember the class we liked the most or the person that has made us laugh even when we were so stressed we could cry these past few years. Take the time to hug your parents these last few months. Memorize the facial expressions of your little sister or brother. Remember the sound of your dad coming home from work. These little things we take for granted every day will soon just be the things we tell our college roommate when they ask about where we're from. As much as we've wanted to get out of our house and our school, we never thought it would break our heart as much as it did. We are all beginning to realize that everything we have is about to be gone.

Growing up is scary, but it can also be fun. As we take the last few steps in the hallways of our school, take it all in. Remember, it's okay to be happy; it's okay to be totally excited. But also remember it's okay to be sad. It's okay to be sentimental. It's okay to be scared, too. It's okay to feel all these confusing emotions that we are feeling. The best thing about the bittersweet end to our high school years is that we are finally slowing down our busy lives enough to remember the happy memories.

Try not to get annoyed when your mom starts showing your baby pictures to everyone she sees, or when your dad starts getting aggravated when you talk about moving out and into your new dorm. They're coping with the same emotions we are. Walk through the halls remembering the classes you loved and the classes you hated. Think of the all great times that have happened in our high school years and the friends that have been made that will never be forgotten. We all say we hated school, but we really didn't. Everything is about to change; that's a happy thing, and a sad thing. We all just have to embrace it! We're ready, but we're not...

Cover Image Credit: Facebook

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All People Should Be Aware Of The Social Injustice Regarding Difference In Skin Color

How having a different skin color means that society looks at you different.

hannahd
hannahd
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Do you ever sit in class and just kind of look out into the distance, and sooner or later you find yourself not paying attention and then whoops you're on your phone? Well, I did in class (don't tell my mom) but I was scrolling on Twitter and came across this tweet. It read:

"My best friend has to work TWICE as hard as I do to receive the SAME opportunities I get just because of the differences in the color of our skin. That is an issue. And shame on me for not using my voice sooner. Shame on me for not bringing attention to the subject. This isn't for clout this isn't for likes this based of the fact that I'm so PISSED OFF at the way I have seen society treat my best friend. If I call you my brother I will fight this fight with you until I am blue in the face. Don't add to the problem be apart of the solution. Skin is just skin at the end of the day people who look different than me have helped me through some of my toughest times. Open your heart to love and acceptance this is supposed to be the land of the free and the home of the brave… let's try and act like it."

In our society, today, if you truly think that people with a different skin complexion, take a step back and really look at our world today. This guy noticed one of his very best friends, same age, has to work just as hard even harder then he does to obtain the respect and things that he deserves. In one of my classes, we talked about the "public opinion after" blacks and whites see differently.

People of color see the world in a completely different light then white people do. A white parent tells there kid to go have fun and be safe and a person of color parent says the same thing but might add be home before the street lights come on, be home before sundown something like that. I am not saying that white parents might not say that but black kids have to be more cautious about staying out in the dark after certain times. People say that a person of color is less likely to finish high school and if they do they are more likely to drop out of college, and I have heard people say that about their peers.

Now, what gives YOU the right to determine someone else's future other than your own?

The point is that people of color have to be more cautious and work twice as hard as a white person. People are held to a different standard, there is more expected out of them. They have harsher punishments than a white person. A white person can do something far worse than a person of color and the white man gets the slap on the wrist and six months and the person of color gets at least ten years. Or a person of color can do nothing at all and a white person can feel "threatened" and completely kill the person of color and never see time behind bars.

Society needs to change. People need to change and open up their eyes and see what type of world we are living in. Is it really changing or are you just picking and choosing what you want to see?

hannahd
hannahd

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