My Country Tis of Thee

I live in a country where my future children will have targets on their backs.
Where from a young age I’ll have to train them to have two different personae and in order to become successful they may have to make the hard choice to abandon who they truly are to adopt the persona that makes people more “comfortable”.                                                         
A country where I’ll have to tell them that if they’re around police or in a white neighborhood to not look “suspicious”. I’ll have to remind them to always keep their heads up, be super friendly, and smile, no matter what kind of day you’re having, as to not look threatening.
Where I’ll have to make sure they know the laws and their rights as if they’d written them themselves.
Where if their clothes are a size or two too big they’ll be perceived as “thugs” and “criminals” even if they are straight A or honor roll students.
A country where I will have to thoroughly teach my future children the horror as well as success stories of their ancestors because schools will gloss over it and instead shove lies about Christopher Columbus and the founding fathers down their throats.
A country where no matter how much I tell them “you can.” I’ll have to inform them the rest of the world will them “you can’t.” and that is something they will have to not take to heart.
A country where my future children will have to work twice as hard as anyone else, if not more, to make it.
A country where people will turn their noses up at them purely for the color of their skin before even knowing the content of their character.
Where I’ll have to teach them that no matter how good their grades are, how many degrees they earn, or how many suits they own they will still be followed around in stores because of the color of their skin.
I live in a country where I’ll have to teach my future children that they are not seen as people to some, but more as untamed animals.
A country where if they want to speak out against injustices they will be seen as “threats” and “troublemakers”.
A country where their culture is praised and imitated, but black PEOPLE are not.
A country where brown faces are all that are seen on the nightly news in a horrible light in order to keep fear alive of brown people.
Where if they run into a legal situation they will receive the maximum sentence because of our corrupt justice system when it comes to people of color.
Where if their name is outside of the norm an employer will toss their resume aside.
Where no matter how hard they work at a job they will still not be as appreciated as much as the laziest white man in the office.
A country where if my future children decide to date outside of their race there are certain parts of the country where they will have to always look behind their backs.
A country where if my kids are dark skinned they’ll be told over and over again that they are not as beautiful as a light skinned person. I will have the hard task of telling them that because our people have been brainwashed for so long these negative words will most likely come from their own people.
I live in a country where if my future children were homosexual I’d have to explain to them that there are people who will want to hurt them just for being who they are and spew hateful words out of one side of their mouth while quoting the Bible out of the other.
A country where if my future son or daughter want to marry someone of the same sex in some states they still can’t.
A country where if my future children aren’t straight an employer can terminate them simply because of who they love.
A country where I’ll have to tell my daughter that she will not be paid as much as a man even if she works harder.
Where I’ll have show my daughter how people scoff at the idea of a woman in power.
A country where I will have to tell my future daughter to always be aware of her surroundings, carry a weapon, and don’t dress provocatively because if she is raped the world will look at her to blame instead of her attacker.
I will have to teach my children that this is the land of the free unless you’re a person of color, any sexuality other than straight, or a woman.
But these are things I won’t have to teach my future children because I live in a country that has made me fearful to have children. A place that makes me cringe when I think that in some shape or form parents have to have these conversations with their kids. Parents have to have these conversations because nothing in this country is equal and they have to make their children aware of that at an early age in order to keep them safe. If that isn’t a sad realization I don’t know what is. And if that doesn’t make you scared then I don’t know what will.

-Asia Aneka Anderson

No comments:

Post a Comment