There has been a storm in this country that has never quite settled down.
Sometimes it gets so strong that it blows down trees and rips the roots out of the ground
I remember working when the news about Trayvon Martin broke out. I remember that time being chaotic. I had just gotten a promotion and I was so consumed with work that I didn’t bother to fill myself in on the details of why this particular story was big. I remember feeling frustrated because my fellow co-workers were so distracted by what was going on that they lagged in their work ethic. I remember feeling annoyed by people who were glued to the T.V and ears being pasted onto the radios.
Then I remember feeling guilty. Weeks had passed and I finally took the time to read about what was happening with that story. I saw why the country was dismantling. What prompted me to read was that there was a small rally outside of my work (not aimed at my work, just happened to be in the vicinity) there were people shouting and crying. I turned to Google and that’s when I read about George Zimmerman and his display of contemptible cowardice.
I felt rage creep up inside of me.
I have been married for 2.5 years (but have been in a relationship for almost 5) to a man who is half caucasian/half African-American, but most people just identify him as being black. I will never feel the feelings he goes through daily by being seen as just a black man. I will never know all of the silent struggles he faces or has faced. He doesn’t have to tell me he is in pain when he reads heinous story after heinous story related to black lives. These struggles and pain speak loudly on his face. They wreak havoc in his eyes while he watches videos of men being shot dead purely out of fear. But before him, before Trayvon, I never considered the bitter conflict that all black people encounter day to day.
I am not black or of African decent, but I am brown. I am Filipino/Polynesian. Unlike my husband, most people don’t know what to see me as. I am darker than most east-asians. Growing up I have experienced my own form of racism because of the fact people couldn’t really identify what I was ethnically, they just saw dark skin. I have been discriminated against and I have been ignored in public places like restaurants because I am colored. I use that word loosely because if you are not white, you are colored, plain and simple. But even with these encounters as a brown person, I will never share the same pain as blacks. While I get nicks, they are getting decapitated. It’s a harsh example but true comparison. My scars will fade while theirs will only change shape. What rattles my insides about all of this is that people who are on the farther side of the color spectrum, a line in which we all sit on (whites, yellows, reds, browns), are getting rejected in a way unimaginable. That my daughters, and future children will be targets to this type of treatment.
To me, the color black is the result of mixing all colors together. Which is true if you are an artist or someone with common sense. Black is the base to the shades of grey when drawing or writing. When you see a drawing, what color is the outline that is holding all of the colors in place? Black. With what they have endured in this life-time and continue to endure, they go on living and fighting. They are stronger humans in my eyes. They are the color that holds us in and together. They are not the color outside of the lines like they are being treated as, they are not that mess or mistake that humans have made. They are the example of unity and togetherness that so many of us wish existed in the world but are too blind to see that it’s already there. People just choose to see a different color when looking at that picture.
For those whose roots were lifted out of the ground and lost their lives to this storm, their legacy and history were blown away along with them.
Many people cry for world peace and fair justice but don’t realize their actions (or lack of) are the continuous tides of water and swirling winds that feed this storm.