We Can No Longer Be Silent

We+Can+No+Longer+Be+Silent

Kiley Capstraw, In Our Town/ In Our School Editor

White privilege is real. It is simply having the ability to complete your everyday tasks and not be racially profiled or questioned. White privilege means you will not have to fear for your life when getting pulled over by the police because they think you are a threat. White privilege is learning about your race in History class for the majority of the school year. White privilege is going into the library and finding an overwhelming amount of books that represent your race. White privilege has existed in America for hundreds of years. 

Because of my skin color, I have privileges that my mother, cousins, grandfather, aunts, uncles, and friends do not. On one side, my cousins learn how to speak to the police before they know how to multiply. On the other side, my cousins will probably never have an honest and serious conversation about how to handle yourself when you get pulled over or interact with the police. 

The color of your skin should not determine what kind of person you are. People say, “Don’t judge a book by its cover” but, when a racist white person sees a black man or woman, they automatically assume that they are a threat. In reality, the racist people in our country cannot wrap their heads around the fact that black men and women of all ages are the future. Just like they were when President Obama took office, they are scared. They do not want you to succeed. But, now is the time to unite and prove them wrong!

We have all been influenced by the black culture in one way or another. If you look up the Billboard Top 100 songs for this week, you will see that the top 7 songs are written and produced by black artists. This is not a coincidence; without black culture, the world would not be the same. The dances, music, food, terms we use, clothing, and shoes are just some examples of the impact that powerful black men and women have made on our world. 

Growing up in West Orange, I’ve gone to school with people of all different shades of color since preschool. I was never once fazed with the difference that someone and I had. Along with that, my grandfather is a strong black man that I have admired for my entire life. The morals, lessons, and philosophies that he has shared with me have shaped me into the young woman that I am today.

My mother, a beautiful, biracial, strong, independent woman, has raised my brother and me our entire lives along with my father. When I was a toddler, people used to question whether or not she was my nanny because of differences in skin color, hair texture, and eye color. But, I am her daughter, and she is my mother. Despite my family lineage, people continuously make predetermined assumptions before knowing the actual truth. Today, this happens with many black people as they live their everyday lives. 

I will no longer remain silent. I want my white classmates, teachers, and faculty to join me in using our privilege to raise awareness for this everlasting issue in our country. We need to pledge to no longer remain silent and allow our friends and acquaintances to know that we hear and see their pain and will no longer tolerate it. It takes a team to tear down police brutality, so for us to be successful, everybody needs to be ALL IN.