I’m A White Woman Who Grew Up In A White Town, But I Know America Has A Race Problem

José Martín
José Martín

America is in a very sad state right now. I’ve been alive for 28 years and I can’t ever remember people being so hateful or racist. With all the tragedies that have occurred recently, I wanted to voice my own opinion on what is going on in our country. I know alot of people may wonder what exactly it is I have to say, considering I’m a white female who grew up in a predominately white town in Indiana. But just hear me out.

Because I grew up in the small town that I did, I was able to experience narrow-mindedness firsthand. I had the luxury of going to school, going to the store, going anywhere and seeing faces just like mine. I was comfortable.

Its something I didn’t even really think about. I sat on the bus and used to listen to the boys call each other the “N” word, even though there was not a single black person on the bus. I used to hear my brother’s dad talk about black people in extremely derogatory ways. But somehow, that hate and racism did not bleed out onto me.

When I was a teenager, I found myself getting more and more into black culture. Tupac became my favorite musical artist. Rap became my favorite musical genre. Then when I was 15, I met my boyfriend online. You guessed it, he’s black. Eventually, after I graduated high school, I moved to South Florida to be with him. And whoa — culture shock. Someone who spent her entire life surrounded by white faces was suddenly the minority. And yet, I’ve still never been treated or felt the way that many black people in America do on a monthly, weekly, even daily basis.

You see, it hurts me to know that these things are going on in America because the love of my life and my soulmate since 15 years old is black. And one day, my children will be black. People can deny all they want that this country has a race problem, or this country has a police brutality problem. But the facts don’t lie.

It sickens me to see people try to justify these police killings by saying that the victims should not have done this, or should not have done that. NO — THAT IS ENOUGH! When someone breaks the law, the only thing they should have to worry about is going to jail. Not getting killed by the police officers that are supposed to save lives. In the case of Philandro Castille, the man did nothing wrong.

What if that was your brother, boyfriend, friend, father that got pulled over for a broken tail light, just HAPPENED to have a gun that he had every right to be carrying on him, DISCLOSED that information to the officer, FOLLOWED the officers orders and still got MURDERED AT THE HANDS OF THE POLICE? Would you still be saying the same thing? Would you still be trying every single way possible to justify this? No, you wouldn’t.

It’s so easy for people to stare at the world through rose colored glasses and pretend that these things don’t exist. I mean, who wants to believe that A LOT of police officers are cowards and racists? Nobody. Its unfortunate. But the fact is that cowardly and racist police officers do exist in America, its proven in the news almost every day.

I pray that this changes. I don’t have children yet, but sometime in the future I will. And I don’t want the world to be an unsafe place for my kids. I don’t want my children to have to be cautious or scared around police officers. I don’t want to have to answer the phone one day to hear that my husband or my son or my daughter was shot by the police. Because contrary to narrow minded opinions, the only thing they have to do is be black at the wrong place and the wrong time. TC mark

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