I often wonder what life is really about for some people. What drives them? I have seen so much hate across my social media platforms, it seems like everyone wants to be louder or more ignorant than most. And the thing is, they think they are "woke" or intelligent. The thing I often wonder is, what makes someone this way? I think of how someone can simply loathe an entire race or ethnicity...based off of what?
Then it hit me.
I had been working with a man who asked me, "If Donald Trump becomes President, are you going to wear a band to prove you're not a terrorist?"
For those who are severely desensitized by the internet, let me explain why this is emphasized.
1. This man is claiming my brownness is a reason to be labeled to make others feel safe.
2. This man is excluding my safety and diminishing my rights as a fellow American.
3. This worldview is entirely closed-minded and unsafe.
This exact reason is why there is so much hate in the world. For the first time in my life, I felt unsafe around this person. That feeling arose inside of me and made me extremely cautious around this type of person. Every time I encountered someone that remotely looked like this man, I became afraid. I was afraid because he implied I was not an equal. He implied I was a monster, a terrorist to be exact. Someone that endangers, terrorizes, murders innocent people...and I could not (still cannot) fathom how someone could look at me and have those thoughts.
When this man created a clear division between us, that is when the hate grew. I learned that day if this one (race excluded) man could see me like that, then why should I bother being nice to any of them? It is not my fault or duty as a *brown* person to make (race excluded) feel safe around me. I started to be angry on the daily with thoughts like, "Why do I have to behave to prove I am worthy to be seen as an American? Why do I have to be nice when hate is all they are going to give me? They do not deserve my politeness when it does not matter what I do since their view of me is smothered in caution because of their hate?"
See how that happens? Does anyone see how easy it is to spiral and stay in the depths of despair? For months after that, I would cry if (race excluded) would come near me. I would shake in fear of them hurting me and blaming me for something they did. At that time in the world, the color of their skin triumphed mine...no matter what (is what it seemed).
I felt small and refused to be in a space with them because of fear.
That is not okay.
I do not want anyone to ever feel like this. If you do, please get away from that headspace. And for those who read this and felt the same way and still do...
It does exist. Fighting hate with hate does not work. Having all that ugliness in my heart ruined me and made me sick. Let it go. If racism is something deep within you, work on it.
It is not okay and not safe for you or anyone around you.