I’m 53 years old. I’ve seen a lot and I’ve done a lot, there’s a lot I’m not proud of. There’s things I’ve seen I wish I could un-see and words I wish were never uttered or even created. I hate that the mere thought of racism and racists terms ever even entered into my the realm of my knowledge.
The thought of racism, the thought of even considering that someone of another race is anything less than a human being, a person who should be loved and cherished and treated with dignity and respect, the very thought of this makes me wish I was born deaf, blind and mute.
I remember when I was five or six years old, my first encounter with someone from another race was with a Native American. I remember telling my grandmother about it and I remember her telling me to make sure I treat all people the same.
I know that people think that racism and hate are taught at home but this is not always true. I didn’t experience white supremacism or anything like it until I was about twelve or thirteen years old. And this was from an older man who was trying to convince a bunch of kids to believe what he believed and he wanted us to act on it. This man, as far as I’m concerned was a predator.
I spent my teen years in a school where I was the minority. I learned a lot, through conversations and arguments and fights, I learned that people are just people. I also learned to care about and see the world around me.
I knew there was racism and prejudices and inequalities and discrimination but as I got older I didn’t think it was as bad as it was in the past. I thought the world was getting better. My world at least didn’t have those things. The people in my world were not like that, at least not as far as I knew.
I believed and still do, to a certain extent that most white people are not racist, they’re just ignorant of the world outside of their own. And I think this is true because we go about our day to day lives, most of us anyway, just trying to work to support our family and enjoy the moments that we can whenever possible.
And this brings me to why I support Black Lives Matter. It’s not about all lives matter as I have said before I realized I was wrong. It’s about waking up to the truth and reality of the world. It’s about opening your eyes to what people are going through because of the color of their skin. It’s about standing up and doing something about it.