This weekend I made myself more vulnerable than I have ever been to about 100,000 people.
On Saturday at the Alabama vs. Texas A&M game I along with about 50 other students silently protested by sitting down during the National Anthem. I held up a sign that read "I sit because my skin speaks louder than my voice" I wanted my message to be clear. The color of my skin has the greatest impact on my life in this country. People see my skin color and automatically make assumptions about my life. Before I even open my mouth, the stereotypes and preconceptions about my race speak for me.
We chose to sit because the words of the anthem do not represent freedom for all. The words describe achieving freedom for a select few by the oppression of another race.
Our protest has absolutely nothing to do with the military, and those who respond and argue that we are being disrespectful are missing the meaning behind our protest completely. For those who want to involve our troops, remember that they also fought for our right to peacefully protest.
I do not believe I should stand up for a country that refuses to stand up for my rights, and the rights of others.
Our country has been anything but fair to POC, the LGBTQ+ community, and Muslims. These groups have been subject to police brutality and violence by hate groups. Hatred and discrimination towards people based on their race, sexuality, and religion happens every day.
Whether you choose to believe or not, social injustice is a problem in our country. People become angry when racism and oppression is pointed out. They criticize the Black Lives Matter movement for violence, and now they criticize us for sitting in silence. They tell us to leave the country, they say to Blacks "Go back to Africa".
Even though I am a citizen and I was born and raised in the United States, I always get asked "Where are you from?" or "What are you?", because of my skin color. The color of someone's skin should not make them anymore or less American.
Being dissatisfied with the state of our country does not mean that I hate my country. I protest because I love my country and I believe that it could be a better place.