Growing up in America

“As a mother of a black son growing up in America, I fear for his life more than anything. I'm afraid that one day my son will leave my house and not return simply because of the colour of his skin. Whether he is killed by the police or someone from a gang trying to earn there stripes. He could be in an area and the clothes he wears makes him appear to be from a rival gang. At home my fear was him getting a good job here I'm constantly on edge. We live a few blocks from his school and I'm afraid to let him self dismiss from his school while in Guyana we were used to going to primary school with the older children in the neighborhood. I've seen videos where boys are walking in areas and are attacked by white counterparts, some even letting dogs loose on them. Sometimes I wish I never brought my child here because I live in fear everyday. Before I know I needed to speak to him about safe sex but I never imagined I'll have to speak to my son about his interactions with the police. The people that are supposed to protect him are the people that I'm most afraid of. I'm now reading a book called The Little Black Book: Black Male Survival in America, Or Staying Alive & Well in an Institutionally Racist Society by carol taylor. Never thought in 2020 I would be in this position having to speak to my son on how to survive an encounter with the police. Why do they hate our young BLACK men so much? When will they even be safe? I don't even let my son watch the news. I'm not sure how to tell him that it may not be something he does that will warrant him being detained. How do I tell him that the colour of his skin is his kryptonite? How do I tell him the reason for their hatred of him, is something I'm unaware of ? How do I have that talk with him at 10 years old? That should never be a talk I need to have with my son or any parent of a BLACK child. Guyana maybe alot of things but back home I've never once thought a day would come where I'll need to have a conversation with him on how to act just to survive an encounter the police.

In March of 2020 when it was known that covid 19 had made its way to the US, plans to shut down were on the way and my sister and I went to the supermarket to get what we could. It was packed as such there were lines all over. The supermarket is runned by predominantly Hispanics; while everyone was in line this young lady went to the back of the line to take a Hispanic gentleman to the front. When asked what's going on she stated he had bigger items, I never knew having bigger items meant you could bypass everyone in line. I always thought I would never experience any form of victimization or racism because I was on the lighter side of being black. The minute I moved here however it became evident that it was clear and present in the United States of America. I know racism is present in Guyana but I've never experienced it in my 30+ years living there. I've seen bus drivers abuse black persons on the bus and called them a black dog in the US. This level and openness of racism I've never seen. I've seen person's cursed by white children for being old and moving to slow to get on the bus. How can you not respect the elderly? Is it not something taught here? Racism is very different in the Caribbean in that yes we know it exist but most of us have gone our entire lives not experiencing it. In Guyana we see it alot during elections but after that has come and gone the next 5 years it's as if that time has been wiped from our minds. In America it exists , everyday people post about making us slaves, boast about dating black women as a way to degrade them, they spew the hatred for BLACK people so openly without it being a problem. The funny thing is when these post are made they are liked by many even shared. They call it freedom of speech here. It’s not a hate crime to call the cops on BLACK people but it's a hate crime if you call someone a faggot instead of gay. They can beat and even kill us on camera and not be prosecuted. Yes the may lose their jobs but there benefits remain intact they are still able to seek out jobs in other areas of law enforcement why? Why is it not a hate crime to call us NIGGA, JIGGABOO and all the other names I've heard since being here. Why do BLACK men always fit the description for someone that committed a crime? You could be a professor even a councilman and still be harassed by the police WHY??????? Racism is everywhere but I'm convinced that in America our BLACK men will always be regarded as criminals no matter how many degrees they have. When will the see us as HUMANS and EQUALS when?????”

-Althea Dasilvia

Bestueverhad D Tia

#Blacklivesmatter #Fightagainstracism #Humansacrosstheglobe

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