Growing up, I never really thought about my skin color or what that skin color would mean to people. I never had to. I went to a predominantly white school and I live in a predominantly white neighborhood, but to everyone, I was just a person and my skin color didn't matter.
I have a white mom and spent most of my childhood with her side of the family, so although I looked black, I never truly felt black. I never faced the hate that many black people have and I was sheltered from the horrors that black people, especially black boys and men, face every day.
I heard the stories on the news, but it never fully clicked.
It wasn't until I reached college that I began to fully understand that although the civil rights movement ended 50 years ago, African Americans are still struggling to be themselves every day. It wasn't until then that I realized how bad it truly is and how any of those African Americans who have faced racism could have been me or my family.
Since I began college and have learned more about racial issues, I have also struggled with how to respond and react. Part of me — the black part — felt personally attacked, while the other — the white part — had no idea what to feel.
But I finally figured out how I was meant to respond and that is by writing how I feel.
After the death of George Floyd, I can honestly say that I am terrified to look the way that I do. Don't get me wrong, I love my family and I'm proud to be biracial.
But looking like this in America today scares the crap out of me because of racist people who think they are better than others because of the color of their skin.
I'm scared that my brother, who is darker than me, could be walking home from practice one day and be the target of racist acts.
I'm scared that he or my dad could be driving and pulled over because they "fit" the profile.
I'm scared that I might wake up one morning and all people will be talking about is how someone that I know and love was killed.
I'm scared that it's never going to get better.
But I'm not just scared, I'm also pissed off.
I'm pissed that there are still people in the world who can be so terrible.
I'm pissed that racism has become a normal activity for many.
I'm pissed that the leadership we have in this country is doing nothing but trying to increase the violence.
I'm pissed that being black makes someone a target.
It's not OK. It's not OK that I'm scared to look the way I do. It's not OK that I'm scared for the lives of my family because of the way they look. None of this is OK.