Before I begin this article, I would like to officially introduce myself. My name is Jeannelle and I run this St. Lucia Travels blog along with the social media pages associated with it. With everything going on in the world today, I have been going through a rollercoaster of emotions. I didn’t know if I should really write this article but I believe that people should know where we are coming from as black people. I may get some backlash from this but at this point, I need to speak out for my people on the platform that I have.
Over these past weeks I, as a black woman, have been angry, I have been hurt, I have been brought down to my lowest where my heart could not take the social injustice of my people anymore. Me as a black woman over the past couple of weeks, I am tired. I have spent the past week in tears because seeing a man laying on the ground with a knee over his neck for almost 9 minutes, hearing him crying and gasping for air, crying for his mother shattered me to pieces. I have my family who live in Philadelphia and all I could see is my brothers, my father, my uncle under that knee. I have been angry, and I think that I speak for every person who understands what living as a black man/woman is that we want to see change. We want to be heard, we want to be treated like the rest of humans.
I don’t know if anyone could understand the way I feel right now. How heavy my heart is when I think about what is going on. All I see is that we as black people are being treated differently because of the color of our skin, something we can’t change, (not that I would ever want to change). I ask myself, why do we have to speak to our children differently, why do we have to prepare them for when a cop stops them. Why can’t we go for a run in a hoodie, and why are we feared when we walk past (and excuse me for saying this) a white person at night or even in broad daylight. What is it about us that brings out so much fear that we are being killed for it? What are we hated for? Why are we being persecuted? These are all the questions that go through my head every day. I fear for the life of my family and I pray for them every night to make sure that they are safe.
Ask yourself these questions, why is that when you see black man approaching you, your heart starts to beat differently. Why do you your children closer to you if you see a black man in a hoodie, but if it were a white man your heart would be at ease. Why do you have to think twice about hiring a black man/woman for a position they are qualified for because you believe that they would not match the “culture” of the business. These are all uncomfortable questions but in a time like this, we have to make it comfortably uncomfortable.
Although the world is dark right now, I see a small ray of hope. In all the chaos I see other races standing up for us. I see people acknowledging that they were ignorant to what was going on right in front of them but now are willing to speak up. All we want is change. I hate the fact that so many of us had to die to bring that about, but I am thankful that it is happening. I hope that this isn’t just something that will be swept under the rug after a while. My hope is that we continue as a community to build up one another and not fight down each other over the color of our skin. We may never have the support of every person on this planet but the ones that do support us, I as a black woman appreciate you.
Going forward I would like more for our black community. I want to feel safe and protected like every other race. I want to know that we have the same opportunity in the “land of opportunities” as they say to us back home. I want to rest my head at night and know that my brothers and father can drive home peacefully at night. I want to live in the land of the free. All we want is freedom, that’s all there is to it
Lastly, I want to leave you with some food for thought and the different things that you can do as an individual to initiate change. For me, I believe that racism isn’t something that you are born with, but something that you are taught.
Be aware of what is going on around you. Educate yourself with books and documentaries on the lives of black people. The history that is behind all this racial profiling. Understand that you have the white privilege but that does not mean that you should take advantage of it. Now that you are our allies, now that you understand what we have been going through for 400 plus years, are you willing to make a change? Are companies willing to treat us as equals and hire us for the jobs we are qualified for? Will you think before jumping to the conclusion that the black man is out there to hurt you. I am not saying that they’re not black people who do bad things, but if you have to look at things closer, all colors have a set of people who are just bad. That does not mean that we have to put all of us in that same category. There are some great people in this world no matter what color we are.
Educate your Kids
When you look at this, it seems that it is a hard topic, but it shouldn’t be. Teaching your kids to love and respect another person that does not look like them isn’t something that is hard. Kids are naturally born with love in their hearts. They don’t care who you are, they will run to you and give you a hug. It all depends on how they are raised. Sometimes we teach kids without us knowing that we are teaching. Be aware of the things you do and the things you say. The way you react when you see a person of color, these are ways you are teaching your kids. Be aware!!!
There are so many things that you can do to be an ally. This is the time when you listen to what your black friend has to say without taking offense. Ask them what can you do to be better. I know it seems that we are angry at white people right now, I just want to make it clear, we are not. We are just tired of being treated like we don’t belong. We are tired of hearing go back to your country.
We are tired of hearing, you’re beautiful for a black girl. We are tired of being treated worst than dirt. We are a set of people full of love and compassion for others, we want to see people treated with honor and respect. It may seem to you that we are loud and aggressive but most of the time we are just excited or passionate about what we are about to say. We have tried to adapt to the way you live, try to understand our ways of life as well. Let us unite as one race, the human race. Let all this hurt and pain stop.