The American Dream
The social un-rest of America is finally out in the open and people are waking up to a reality that has been in our yard for centuries. Systematic racism is a problem, and it's about time it was addressed.
Racism exists. It is not worse, but it is not any better for the person who just lost their son due to police brutality. It is not any better for the people who have to "tread carefully" because they live in a country that is too occupied to notice them. It is not any better for the families that are being pulled apart, their children constantly being called criminals.
As a Mexican immigrant, USA has been pretty good to me, but there are times when I wonder if my skin tone may have been different, would my experiences have changed? I always felt like I was living in this shell that protected me, yet I could still feel the jabs of microaggressions that were constantly thrown my way.
"You only got into that school because you're Mexican."
"Yeah but you don't count, because you're a white Mexican."
"This is America, we speak English here."
It infuriated me and honestly made me want to belong even more. So I hid behind that shell, and used it to protect myself. I was always proud of my Mexican heritage, but I felt like if I was too proud of it, I would be told to go back to Mexico, and if I wasn't proud of it, I was told I was white washed. I felt lost.
You may think that microaggressions are really not all that serious, but they are the foundations to modern day racism. They are dangerous because the moment they are used, they put people in a category (sometimes un-intentionally) that places them in a position where they begin to feel like second class citizens. Constantly justifying their success or their flaws.
I love going home, but every-time I do, I feel the tension. I get anxious at the dozen of commercials about anti-depressants, gas reflux, and lawsuit ads. I get anxious about sitting next to a man with a gun in his holster while he is eating scrambled eggs at the local family dinner. It is exhausting to be in a country where you are constantly in survival mode.
I can't even begin to imagine how exhausting it must be for black Americans.
That is why I feel that this movement is so important. Black Lives Matter isn't about whose life matters most, it is about human rights. America promises its people liberty and justice for ALL...there are no buts.
When we the people stand with Black Lives Matter, we the people stand for what is right. We the people stand for democracy, for freedom and justice.
I mean, isn't that what the American dream is all about?
*You can learn more about the BLM movement here.