We Just Want To Be Heard
By Darnaja Saunders
I have always heard about racism and how it has always been a problem. I have even seen it myself and I hate it. I have a huge passion for not seeing people be torn down. It hurts my heart so much I would like to see change. I thought maybe our younger generation could possibly do something to change it. Hello, my name is Darnaja.
Over the years racism has caused killing and lots of violence. People have been mistreated for the color of their skin, sexual beliefs, and even religion. Slavery started 1619 and this was where whites had all the control and owned colored people. Africans were brought to America and arrived as slaves, kidnapped from their homelands in various parts of Africa. A number of them were known to be royalty and literate. Many men, women, and children were stripped of their names and identities, forced to “Christianize”. They were whipped, beaten, tortured, and in many cases, lynched or hanged at the whims of their white masters. Slavery was the key to maintaining vast properties and land. The blacks were separated from their families through the process of buying and selling, where slaves could be sold for any price. While not all Africans in America were slaves, a large number were, particularly in the southern states. For those Africans in America who were free, discriminatory laws that barred them from owning property and voting, as well as reading and writing or attending school.
Well that’s the past we are in the future has anything really changed?
Well, not all the way. Some of the older generations are still teaching the new generation to not like colored people. Slavery is not the problem now, it has more to do with the differences between us. As an example have you ever heard about the situation with black female’s hair problems and how it affects your job? Now, this is not every job but it is common because of the thickness and difference between white or non-colored people’s hair vs a colored woman. Colored women are often asked to change or flat iron their hair because it is “not professional” to have it in a ponytail, poofball, or even their natural hair. How does that make a black female feel? She is not being accepted for something she can not control. Not only is it tearing black females down but it is putting their life at risk because you need a job to survive. I have even experienced this myself when I ran track for urban I was told byCYO that I was not allowed to wear braids or beads and it really made me not want to do that sport anymore because my hair was not straight and thin like the other girls.
Have you heard about black males being brutally killed or brutally arrested?
Of course, you have because black males, black people in general are looked at as intimidating. Why is that? Because we are known as violent, is that true? No it’s not. Not all colored people are violent. Have you heard of the saying towards black people? Shoot first ask questions later. Just imagine being the black parent of a black male and being scared for there safety to make sure they know to talk slow when talking to a cop. Put your hands on the steering wheel, don’t make sudden movements, don’t reach for anything if they are looking away tell them what you are getting, don’t run, listen to their direct order, and do not fight or move because you are looked at as a weapon rather than a human being. Just to be told on a daily basis that a cop has the right to shoot if you give them any reason to.
A man named Oscar grant did those exact things and somehow still was killed by a police officer. Tamir rice a black child shot and killed by cops, for a BB gun being mistaken for a real gun. Michael Dean, a 28-year-old father who police shot in the head on Dec. 3, 2019, and Jamee Johnson, a 22-year-old HBCU student who police shot to death after a questionable traffic stop on Dec. 14, 2019. It’s not only happening to males but to females too, Yvette smith 47-year-old, female shot and killed by a police officer after calling for help when she had seen two males fighting. Rekia Boyd 22-year-old, a female who was shot and killed by a police officer, aiming a gun at a black male for mistaken a gun for a cellphone and blindly fired, the bullet hit the black male in his hand and Boyd in her head. Tarika Wilson 26-year-old shot and killed by police and injured her one-year-old son. What is it that we could do to save black females and males and teenagers from getting killed by police? What is it gonna take?
Well, I think we are gonna have to change the black females and males of this generation. We have some part in the violence that is happening, we are killing our own kind because of problems such as drug dealing, Gang-related problems, and trying to gain respect in the streets but if we want to change the way people look at us, we have to change what we are doing and what we are teaching the new generation. We as a black community have to come together and stand for what is right but doing this with violence is not the answer. For our rights and respect we have been protesting but while protesting more people have gotten hurt. We have the right to protest but that does not mean throwing things at the cops, breaking into shops to steal, or any kind of violent acts. I know that as a black community, we are angry but violence isn’t the way to go about. As a 14-year-old I have a question, How am I supposed to feel safe when the people that are supposed to keep us safe are the ones killing us? I have no more ideas or solutions because the black community has tried everything but we see no change.