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  • Writer's pictureMichele Thomas

No longer silent

I have kept relatively quiet as I have been coming to terms with what is going on in the world. It has taken me time to process and understand the reactions of the Black Lives Matter Revolution #BLM

Yes, it is a revolution, it is a change in the way things are done. It is asking for people to be open minded and really look at the underbelly that has become the United State of America. And guess what? It is not pretty at all! It is a horrifying look at a system intentionally putting down people of color! Of intentionally creating an atmosphere that makes it difficult to climb the ladder. Does this mean people cannot climb the ladder? Absolutely not! It just makes it that much more difficult

So, I have been quiet as I come to these terms. Not because I do not understand what it means, what it stands for, or why it is happening but rather this reaction. This is not a new thing. The heartbreaking murder of George Floyd was not a new action. You just happened to actually see a video of the murder happening. I will point out it is also not the first video that shows such brutal treatment of a person.

If you know me even a little you know I am an emotional person. I cry at commercials (yes really). So, imagine the tears that came watching a person lose his life. His life! Regardless of his previous convictions. He served his time. HE did not deserve to die like that-face down in the street WITH A CALLOUS GROWN MAN KNEELING ON HIS NECK, calling for his mother as the life was drained from him!

On several occasions I have attempted to speak with people and the focus always ends up somewhere else. Not the narrative that people of color are treated different but usually on the negative reactions (the looting, etc.). And while I do my best to stay respectful because people are entitled to their opinion even if is racist, I am constantly floored. Floored at the fact that people are acting like this is a new trend. As if after the Civil Rights Movement, racism just disappeared, and the world went about treating everyone equally.

It is almost as if we did not know that people of color are treated differently. As if the history taught in school about a human owning another human was so long ago. It was not. My great grandfather was a slave. That is not long ago. That was only two generations ago. It is still here; it is still reality. And the way that it is being handled is atrocious.

It came as an utter shock that my husband did not know what Juneteenth was. I had assumed this was something all people knew about. That is not the case, because it is not taught in our education system. I found it very curious as to why and hopefully one day it will be a part of the curriculum. So much history has been left out of history books that teach our children today. Children of color struggle to see their place in history except as slaves and there is so much more for them to learn. So many more contributions they will never learn sitting in American classrooms today. That, my dear readers, is the biggest atrocity.

You can argue and say all you want about how far we have come. And yes, we have made some amazing strides. But seriously wake up! This is not new and now more than ever we need anyone and everyone to speak up. If you consider yourself a decent person, open your eyes. Murdering people because they may or may not have been guilty is not okay. Treating someone differently because of the color of their skin is not okay.

And if you have stayed silent that is just as bad. Your silence is not okay. It is not and people are watching and taking note. The fact that I have stayed silent for so long I am embarrassed. I should not have stayed silent. I should have spoken up, found out what I can do to be heard!

Trust me, I am positively exhausted of all of this too. But I am always exhausted of this, you are just tuning in. The looks I get while walking in the grocery store with my husband because we are an interracial couple. Pretending you did not know how bad it is and has been. I get to pretend on a daily basis as I smile at work and do my best not to break down. It is not new to me; I have just learned to hide it and suppress it so I can do my job. So have all people of color. It is a learned trait to pretend like everything is okay and that the world is one big happy family.

I have watched for weeks at the support, but I have also watched the most unreal response of deniers. People who legitimately do not see the problem and continuously focus on the wrong aspect. How do I get through to them? I do not know. But I do know this, racism is not new. Stop acting like it is.

I have sat on this for quite some time thinking of what people will say. What the response will be. Today I honestly do not care. People are losing their lives and if I do not say something, I am part of the problem too.

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