By Frelyn Jones
April 20, 2015
In America, citizens are ripped apart for being different. Yet how can that be so, when America is the most diverse country? We have blacks, whites, Hispanics, Asians, Islanders, and Indians, but we still get pulled apart. Why can’t we all just be different?
Being black in America is one of the hardest societal challenges. When someone looks at me, that don’t notice the bright smile I have on my face or the hair that hangs from my face, but they do notice that I’m black. Black as in ghetto. Black as in rude. Black as in having one parent. Black as in unintelligent. The list just goes on. But why can’t people judge others by what they bring to the table instead of their skin color?
I’m tired of worrying about what people will think of me because of the color of my skin. Why does color even matter?
I’ve gotten to a point in life where my race is so important to me, and I stand strong against the prejudice. I have the confidence of a lion holding up its herd. I’m confident in my own skin and forever will be. I accept that my skin is a little darker and my hair may be a little nappier. I just wonder when everyone else will.
Recently, there has been a lot of news on race-related crime. Many of the latest stories about race have cops involved in them: a white cop and a black person. As I am black and young, these stories make me nervous about trusting a cop when I’m in a dangerous situation if they are the ones hurting us. I’m supposed to feel protected by them, but I feel threatened.
Trayvon Martin, a black boy who was walking down a street with a hoodie on at night, was simply heading home from the store after buying some snacks when he was shot and killed. His killer was the neighborhood watch who was sitting inside of his car and called the police. When Zimmerman called the police they told him not to pursue Martin, but he didn’t want to listen.
Mike Brown from Ferguson, Missouri, a black boy who was walking in the middle of the street with his friend, was pursued by a police officer and shot numerous times.
Martese Johnson, a third year honor society member at UVA, was brutally attacked by ABC cops because he was trying to enter a bar with a fake ID. Johnson was flung to the ground and needed 10 stitches in his head.
Freddie Gray, a 25 year old male, was arrested in Baltimore, Maryland. While being arrested, he suffered injuries in 80% of his spine that left him a dead a week later. Unfortunately the mystery of this case is still unsolved.
As an African American, I face a daily struggle of feeling like I won’t always be accepted, or that I won’t be acknowledged for all the potential that I really have. I’ve accepted who I am, so why can’t others?
I get nervous about my future because I don’t know if change will ever come. Will I be allowed the same opportunities as others? I always wonder when I’m around a cop: will I be the next headline on the news? A young child should never be concerned with whether or not they’ll be on the news for brutality rather than what kind of grades they have.
When will things change? When will we all get along? The only thing that separates us is the color of our skins. When will it be enough?