Land of the Free?

“Ignorance and prejudice are the handmaidens of propaganda. Our mission, therefore, is to confront ignorance with knowledge, bigotry with tolerance, and isolation with the outstretched hand of generosity. Racism can, will, and must be defeated.”

Kofi Annan

I have debated heavily with myself…

as to whether or not I should write about this sensitive yet very important topic.

Not because I am blind to what is taking place, or scared. I often wonder if I am credible enough to write about this. I would never want anything I say about this topic to be misconstrued. I would never want to appear as uneducated or ignorant. I would never want to offend anyone who is greatly impacted by the disgusting hate crimes displayed in our country.

As I watch what is taking place, more recently with the MURDERS of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery, I can no longer remain silent. And I hope that my voice makes a positive impact in a way that it educates the ignorant and supports the oppressed. To the Black community: I hope you read this and know that not only do you have an ally in me but a friend and a confidant as well. To the people of color who are not Black and to the White community: I hope when you read this, you feel so uncomfortable that you have no choice but to no longer ignore what has been taking place and decide to stand up and support those who need us.

I am a Hispanic woman, Puerto Rican specifically.

I am in an interracial relationship with a Black man. We are soon to be married next year. My soon to be step daughter is a young Black woman growing up and witnessing this oppression. My nephews who are half Black will be faced with the harsh realization of what it means to be Black in this country. My future child will also be a target. And although African roots run deeply in my heritage, I refuse to overlook the fact that because my skin is considerably fair, I do hold privilege in America.

You see, as a Hispanic woman, I have encountered racism to a small extent. Racial slurs and stereotypes have been thrown at me like daggers. And yes, it is hurtful. But I have NEVER been physically assaulted without a just cause. I have NEVER been randomly pulled over by law enforcement just because I look ‘suspicious.’ I have NEVER had to fear that my life would be taken because of the color of my skin. And THESE reasons is why I refuse to be blind to my privilege in America. Because of THIS, I will use my privilege to advocate and stand up for the Black community.

I have seen the hashtags #AllLivesMatter splattered on social media like sloppy ink blots. I can assume the people posting it have no malicious intent (although, I do have to be honest- I can assume, but cannot confirm). I’ve witnessed the debates as to why this statement is defended. How one race is not superior to the others. How all lives should matter. Yes…it should matter but it does not.

I have witnessed the hurtful and ignorant comments. The judgements placed on the lootings and protests that have been occurring. I have witnessed the silence. The hesitation to speak up. Speak out. To support our Black people. I am not here to pass judgement on you. Only you know why you are choosing to respond in the way that you do. Maybe your support is silent and through prayer. And that’s okay too. But if the current state of our country…the racial divide, the tension, the pain, the anger, all of it…if this does not shake and rattle the very core of your being, you have some serious digging and self reflection to do.

Let me put this into perspective for you…

For centuries, Black people have endured various forms of slavery. They have endured violence. They have endured the pain of loved ones taken mercilessly away by the hands of White supremacists. Their rights are constantly stripped away in some form. And you may think this went away once segregation did, but it has not. Even when the Black people were declared ‘free,’ they are still being passed for jobs they are more deserving of. They are still misjudged by their appearance. They are still wrongfully accused for crimes they did not commit. And they are DYING on OUR streets in OUR country by the hands of those who are supposed to be protecting the people of this country. They do not have the privilege of innocent until proven guilty. And to add insult to injury, despite many efforts to remain quiet, compliant, and peaceful, once they can no longer do this because of the complete disregard this country continues to show towards these people, they are labeled as thugs, a danger to this society. So let me ask you this, is it really All Lives Matter? Are Black lives included in this?! I would really like to know.

Black Lives Matter is a movement. It’s a stand that says, “I am here for my Black brothers and sisters. I see your pain. Your struggles. The adversity. The injustice. And IT IS NOT OKAY. Change has to happen.” This movement does not take away from the lives of the other races. It is an acknowledgement that Black people have always been and continue to be at a major disadvantage than the rest of us. It’s acknowledging that the Black community needs our support. They should no longer carry this burden alone. THIS IS OUR BURDEN. They are valuable to our country. They need air to breathe. They bleed the same. The color of their skin should not be considered a crime in a country that claims Land of the Free. We must help to ensure that the Black race are given the proper love, respect, rights and LIFE that they deserve. This is a fight for humanity.

Until Black lives matter, all lives do not matter. Actions have to show that they are inclusive in this. And in the year 2020, it is obvious that they are not. We have failed them as a country. So I’m sorry, you cannot convince me otherwise. It is blatantly and disgustingly obvious.

Photo by Daria Shevtsova on Pexels.com

Beautiful Black people:

Who have contributed immensely to build this country on your very own backs, who have fought in our wars, who have evolved and transformed our culture, one of the most resilient groups of people I have ever laid my eyes on- I see you. I hear you. I value and respect you. I love you all so much. You have my full support. And I am so so sorry that you were never given a fair chance in excelling in this country. You have to work twice as hard just to receive the same chances as others. You are so powerful that a country is so adamant about eliminating your very existence. That speaks volumes. We’re way overdue for a change. This has to stop. Let’s all be a part of that change. The solution and not the problem.

Praying for America. Be safe and walk with love, purpose, dignity, and with your head held high.

With sadness in my heart,

Author: Angie Soul

Like a lotus flower, I emerge from dark, murky waters to reveal my beauty. Feeling and healing on this journey of life; glowing and flowing. I have always loved writing, but it has taken me 29 trips around the sun before I had to confidence to share publicly. I hope my writing, which is near and dear to my heart, sparks light and love in others.

18 thoughts on “Land of the Free?”

  1. Well, said. Proud of you for using your platform to help bring light on this topic. Unity is powerful. ❤️

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    1. Thank you so much for encouraging me to write about this. You definitely pushed me out of my comfort zone and made me realize this was very important to write about, even from my perspective. ❤

      Like

  2. Everything and anything I could have said on the subject you said beautifully and took the words right out of my mouth and mind. ♥️♥️♥️ One Nation!

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    1. Thank you so much for taking the time to read ❤ I was so scared and emotional writing this. I didn't want to do more harm than good. But I knew it was especially important for me to speak up, being a person of color but still holding privilege.

      Like

  3. I love that you have shared your perspective on the matters at hand! I love writing since it means I can share the deepest of my thoughts and find new perspectives or work clear old thoughts. It is clear you have done just that here. 🙂

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    1. Thank you so much for taking the time to read! And you are so right. I often share the most vulnerable parts of myself on this platform. For so long, I tip toed on this particular topic. But I can no longer do that. Thank you for the encouragement!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Thank you for speaking about this and everything you said is totally right. Black people have a history of struggling and living through for a long time. We need to be as one!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. First, I’d like to say congratulations on your upcoming wedding and for your soon to be new (step?)daughter.

    All lives don’t matter until all lives actually matter, starting with black lives.

    No one should feel scared for simply trying to exist in the same space as white people

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! And yes, you are so right. Until black lives are not targeted just because of the color of their skin, all lives do not matter. Thank you for taking the time to read!

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    1. Same! Obviously, all lives matter but until society realizes that black lives are in danger because of the color of their skin, then we cannot honestly say that all lives matter. It must start will black lives mattering first! Thank you for taking the time to read!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. This was such a pleasure to read. As a black person going through this currently, I’ve seen so many allies being very insensitive and not being empathetic or just failing to understand. Thank you for not being any of those things.
    I feel seen.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. This comment literally made my heart swell ♥️ thank you so much for your kind words. I was so nervous writing it because I would never want to come across as insecure, ignorant, or unaware. Thank you for taking the time to read! I truly appreciate it.

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  7. I started following your blog because my former coworker Grace suggested that I do, and after reading this blog post, I had to start following you on social media just so that I could share this post. Unfortunately, a lot of people I know use the line all lives matter (which I will not hashtag), because the statement you made about all lives won’t matter until #blacklivesmatter is exactly what I have felt. So I just want to say thank you. Thank you for using your platform to speak out and for writing this issue in such an articulate and eloquent way.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. What an amazing comment to read-thank you so much! I felt it was important to honestly write about this, although it was uncomfortable for me. Thank you for taking the time to read this.

      Like

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