#Let’sTalk~ I’m Not Racist But…
This month has been a drastic affair of a whirlwind of emotions… I think that is the most succinct way I can put it.
Processing my thoughts on the matter has been more than difficult. At first I wasn’t surprised, I don’t even think I was angry. To a certain extent I felt immune to the news, after all this isn’t really new – another one of our brothers forced to leave their loved ones early, all at the hand of a badge that these police officers are not worthy to have. And then the protests started and I would be a liar if I claim I thought they would be helpful. No no, I was filled with pessimism; thought these protests would be futile. The marches: a fight fought peaceful. The riots: a fight fought painful. And both fights in which I felt we would be defeated. Luckily for us a small step towards change was made with big brands coming forward and donating money towards the cause.
Although the protests seem to have come to somewhat of an end, and most of our instagram feeds are back to normal, the matter doesn’t end there. For most people this situation means nothing to them. Just a bunch of angry black people once again causing chaos. But for many of us, protests aren’t enough. The protests don’t completely stop racism. It doesn’t stop us from being racially profiled and being stopped and searched for no other reason than our colour. It doesn’t stop us being labelled as aggressive or intimidating if we express ourselves and our voice just so happens to raise ever so slightly, or if we stand in a group we are perceived as suspicious. For us this is our day to day lives and the problem doesn’t magically go away after a few protests.
How many more times does this have to happen to us. We are not the first to fight for a chance at equality and we won’t be the last. Because the truth of the matter is that there will always be ignorant, hateful and or blind people. People who will claim ‘they didn’t even know racism still existed’ but as soon as you attempt to educate them on the matter their next sentence starts with ‘I’m not racist but’. When given a chance to learn and hear our experiences first hand, they pretend to take it in, to try to understand but as soon as we turn our back they feel as though they were attacked (this happened to my friends and I at work).
Yes I was filled with pessimism when this first started, but after a while I was just filled with anger. Hearing uneducated people speak so ignorantly and disrespectfully on the matter, it opened my eyes to see that racism is something that can never go away. Like some generational curse that has clasped manacles around our wrists and ankles and in our bloodstream.
What I really learned from this is that you can’t educate someone who doesn’t wish to be educated, but it’s also not our job to educate them. They should be more perceptive, research into our anger, be willing to, make a change. If you’re tired of hearing it, well we’re tired of experiencing it.
We should all work together in attempt to make things better.