I sit slumped over my laptop, glued to my computer screen. My dark brown eyes are blurred by the blue tears streaming down my face, as a voice in my head tells me, “be strong Anais!”. A pounding headache travels through every inch of my aching and worn out brain.
I am sick of my news feed on every major social media outlet being filled with the ignorant bigotry of my peers. Human beings have just died, due to this flawed system under which we live. Yet, sadly, there are people who refuse to take the situation for what it is. And these are the same people who make it impossible for my African-American peers to live without a dark grey cloud hovering over them 24/7. The deaths of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile have certainly stirred up the nation, but the main things that people are running away from is that this is an ongoing issue, which “just so happens” to continuously come up in America.
Personally, the first story of police brutality I remember hearing was of Trayvon Martin, an African-American, brutally murdered by the police in 2012. From then on, the hashtags kept on coming and coming and coming. Day by day, it became harder for African-Americans to live their daily lives without some type of hardship. It is evident that after this many years of living under a system that has treated – and continues to see – African-American as no more than “thugs” and “hoodlums” that there will be some type of retaliation. Considering the deep anger and frustration that has built up over time, the African-American people are fed up.
I cannot speak on behalf of them, for I am not one of them. However, I stand in full solidarity with the African-American people and the struggles that they have endured as a people. As a Palestinian-American, I know how it feels to be affected by your race and ethnicity everyday. For some crazy reason, unknown to us, our hyphenated ways of identification justify why we are targeted. Whether it is as a terrorist or a thug, we are somehow painted as the bad guys. In the midst of these tragic incidents that plague our society, I encourage my fellow peers to speak up and out and say what is on there minds. Generating intellectual, respectful, and peaceful discussions can only benefit us in the long run. Speak up. Stay strong.
-Written by Anais Amer (Redefy School Representatives Team Member)