To People

To People:

Martin Luther King, Jr. was one of the most hated people in the United States for fighting for civil rights and what he believes in.

Guess I’ll also be hated.

Like most people, I’m angry, but more than anything, I’m shocked disappointed, and saddened.

I’m shocked because a Caucasian customer at work had the audacity to criticize my afro and African American and African women’s choice to wear weave. People don’t have the right to tell other people what to do with their hair, especially when you don’t understand the hair of someone who is a different race.

She had no right, and it was… awful.

I’m disappointed because as more restrictions are lifted, customers feel the need to be complete a-holes to retail workers. During the lockdown, there was more appreciation and kindness. Now, some people are upset when we wear masks, and others are upset when we don’t. Literally, today a customer compared the effectiveness of wearing a mask to a pair of jeans being able to hold in the smell of a fart.

Will people expressing their unwanted opinion of me being cautious stop me from wearing a mask? Heck no.

I’m saddened because of the most recent instance of police brutality involving George Floyd. I’m BEYOND HAPPY about the world waking up to the injustice and racism and oppression, a cop being arrested (waiting on the others), and the peaceful protests.

Yes, the destruction is not fun to deal with, especially for the already struggling small businesses, but I wish the destruction wouldn’t be getting more attention than the issue at hand, which is racism and the lack of civil rights.

Yes, we got the Civil Rights Act, but it didn’t stop the racism and segregation and discrimination. Efforts were made, but there’s a lot more work to be done.

Governments are so focused on peace and rebuilding cities that are being destroyed, but the peace won’t come until the equality does. Materialistic things are repairable; the broken spirits of a minority community and the lives lost to police brutality are not.

As an African American woman, I am beyond grateful for every single person who has spoken up not just for me but for my community… my race. I am grateful for everyone who is educating themselves and doing whatever they can to speak up.

In a time like this, I am grateful for everyone who is still showing kindness and is still loving and caring.

To the many people shrugging everything off, stop. There’s too much happening in the world for you to not care.

-Jamilah


Featured image credit: munshots

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