“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.” Dr. King’s Words Ring True (almost) Half A Decade Later…

Sometimes the protest is simple. Not being silent in conversation is a protest in itself. You’re protesting by not being silent on issues that matter. You matter.

Sometimes it’s as simple as saying “that’s not true about my people” or saying “nobody has the right to tell someone else how to grieve” or offering “if this was someone of your background or descent how would you feel?”

Have you ever looked into the eyes of someone belonging to a different race (ethnicity or culture) as you express your feelings, experiences, concerns, and injustices?

From experience, the feeling is almost as if I am committing some crime. The looks and body language I’ve received suggests that even speaking on any issues surrounding MY people is beyond my intellect or above my head.

It’s not hard to tell that what you talk about often isn’t always relatable. It seems like people just don’t get it…

“Don’t say that the people in jail are slaves, use the word ‘oppressed.'”

Speaking of slavery or making any comparisons are completely unacceptable by any other group. You can explain history, converse on the events unfolding right in front of everyone’s eyes and still get called a liar or told to change the words, phrases you use to sugarcoat it.

People may become a bit uptight during these conversations with people of color but so what!!!!!

Why is it that as African-Americans we get told the experiences of our ancestors weren’t that bad, or we are made to feel like we are delusional?

If you want to voice the injustices, blatant racism, or prejudices you have experienced go for it but also seek a way to make a change.

Some people will turn a blind eye to the injustices that people of color experience every day. Some people will offer comparisons to belittle your feelings to show that “it’s no big deal compared to…” or “at least you’re not (here or there) experiencing (this or that)…”

I am often blown away by the lack of knowledge (ignorance), lack of compassion and empathy that some people have for others.

Words have power, and you will be surprised at the lasting effect that your conversation can have on someone.

I will continue to protest in my way. The more knowledge I receive, the more I will spread it and continue to stand up for my people.

Somethings got to give. Until it does, I am going to talk about it.

-Maya

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