Being a young women in America is already hard, but try doing so while black.
When it is dark at night and everyone in the house is dead asleep, I lay awake. My mind works on overdrive pumping out new ideas and thoughts. Some are about what kinds of things I want to do in the future, while other thoughts have a much darker tone. One of these thoughts are maybe life would be different if my skin wasn’t coated brown. Maybe if my eyes were hazel like my mom's people would see a soul of a person.
Growing up, I knew that I was kinda different than my friends. In elementary school I was the only half black kid I knew because all my friends were white. My entire family that I love dearly were white and for the time that was okay. Then I started to notice the weird stares that I would get whenever I went out with my Grandma shopping. Later, I figured out why I got weird stares whenever I went shopping with my family-- it was because our skin color was different. Now, I have to admit I am one of those terrified to go out into the world for I no longer know what will happen.
It is only the start of the month and already America is forced to grieve for loss of loved ones. Alton Sterling was held by police officers outside of a convenience store in Louisiana, and then was shot and killed. The 37-year-old Sterling was known for selling CD's outside of the store. The owner, Abdullah Muflahi, of the store, Triple S Food Mart, said he knew Sterling for six years and he had given him permission to sell on the property. Another black man was shot when reaching for his wallet in front of his wife and young child in Minnesota.
Though, the terror does not end there. After this shooting, another took place in Texas ending with five police officers dead. The attack on police came after videos of the two African-American men that were shot were released to the public. Police officers were ambushed and five were killed and others injured. It is said this was the deadliest assault against law enforcement since 9/11.
I can't say that black lives matter without addressing that, yes, I believe that all lives matter. Those police officers should have never been killed, and should have been able to go to work then back home to their loved ones. My heart goes out to their families and just know you're in my prayers. Yet, it was because two men who were just as innocent as those five police officers were killed without a moment of hesitation.
With all this going on, how can I not be at least little self aware? My eyes keep wide open and apologies are always at the tip of my tongue. I don't want to seem whiny or paranoid, but unless you put yourself in my position, you will never see the world like I do. You won't see the weird stares or feel even a slight terror build up in your belly whenever you see a police car.
All lives do matter, but at least acknowledge that something is very wrong with the way the black community is being treated. I would rather live in a world where race was never an issue and everyone got along, yet it seems we all have to open our eyes first to get to that world.