The majority of my education I have been the only black child in the room. It was only when I got to college that I started to see more people who looked like me in my classes.
I have always been uncomfortable.
Life for me is uncomfortable. Knowing that I can walk down the street and have my killing justified is uncomfortable. Knowing that I cannot safely play with water guns with my cousins in the park is uncomfortable. Living in a world that systematically oppresses me with every chance they get and finds reasons to take my freedom on a daily basis is uncomfortable. It was only when I found fellow scholars who looked like me that shared the same sentiments as me that this uncomfortable box rolled away. It was then and there I realized that I should not feel uncomfortable for being Black.
Last Saturday, I attended a panel called Black Girl Magic hosted by the intellectual Dr. Kendra A. King and her panelists made me realize something, I should not apologize for being rare, exquisite, beautiful, lovely, and a gem. If it makes you feel uncomfortable that I am a queen, then that is your problem. It is not mine because I am comfortable with myself. The way I do my hair and the clothes I wear make me comfortable. I have learned that it is time to stop being uncomfortable at the risk of making White America feel uncomfortable.
Being Black is not something I choose, but it was something that was gifted to me. Because I am gifted, I cannot be quiet when dealing with ignorance on a daily basis. You want me to be quiet because the cop that shot Terence Crutcher is being put on a trial with a sentence of four years for killing a man, while I have brothers in jail for twenty years because they were selling weed? You want me to be quiet because you feel like you know more than me because you have taken a class and written a paper on the Black Lives Matter Movement? You want me to be quiet because "Now Black people can sit wherever they want to on the bus and can walk into a restaurant through the front door?" You want me to be quiet because it makes you uncomfortable when someone points out the fact that Black people are still not looked at as citizens of America? You want me to be quiet because calling attention to the discrimination of my sisters and brothers makes you uncomfortable?
Well, that is too bad, because as long as I am living I will not be quiet. Because to be quiet, is to be okay with the injustice that I am met with on a regular basis. To be quiet is to be okay with the fact that an officer can shoot a man down in cold blood and maybe get four years of jail sentence. To be quiet is to be okay with people speaking on my behalf because they read a book and wrote a paper. To be quiet is to be okay with the systems that America has established to keep Black people in the dark about their heritage, culture, and rights. Lastly, to be quiet is to be okay with a system that is set up for me to fail.
It is time to stop sitting back. The time is to start speaking up. We have spent years under the slave mentality to keep White America happy and comfortable by keeping quiet. Well, dear White America it is time to be uncomfortable because I will not be quiet until justice is served and rights are given to ALL people of COLOR.
And lastly, for the people who want to throw shade at people for rioting...
Just know that if you would have stopped and listen to us years ago, we would not be so angry now. There is not a correct way to be enraged or a correct amount of enrage one should feel. We've been sitting in discomfort for your own comfort for far too long.