the same - a written spoken word about charlottesville

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we are not the same.

my skin tone and your skin tone are different.

we are not the same.

my culture and your culture are different.

we are not the same.

my experiences and your experiences are different.

we are not the same.

my reaction and your reaction to charlottesville are different.

we are not the same.

since the beginning of 2017, there's been a different sense of feelings in the air.

we used to be happy and carefree; moving forward with our lives and forgetting about the hate in this country.

we used to be together in harmony; everything and one put together like pieces of a puzzle sticking perfectly.

this current version of america is not the one you thought you would see.

you say, you

"never thought this could happen."

"thought racism was over."

"couldn't imagine this happening in modern day america," and

"don't think this is representative of the US."

but to other, thousands of americans, this has never been true.

your eyes are just adjusting to the dust, so that you can finally see the truth.

since the beginning of 2017, my feelings have not changed.

we were always stuck in this america filled with oppression and pain mixed with the lingering thoughts of despair; our history has always been forgotten with a new recharge of racism every year.

we were never together in harmony without the scars of assimilation; the hatred and fear of minorities has never left this nation.

this current version of america is the one i've always seen.

we continue to say, we

"were just waiting for the day when it would happen."

"never thought racism was over," and

"know this is representative of america, and have known for the past 50+ years"

this america is not new. this america was not created by donald trump.
this america has always been here. this america became more overt because of donald trump.
he did not create this; he inspired it to come forward more so than it did before.

charlottesville is not the first time this kind of hate and the people that support it have come forward and it surely will not be the last,

but before we start to reconcile and create hashtags to show support for a future country that is hopeful and bright, we need to have a discussion about how some people on the left are just as racist as their peers on the right.

now as i said before, we are not the same, and that fact still stands as i write to take an aim at the ignorance of the people who claim to show support, but not totally being the same does not mean we don't share traits with our cohorts.

just for example, think of the hashtag #ThisIsNotUs. what good does this hashtag do when you can't even acknowledge the harsh truth that america was not founded on equality and light, but instead founded on the ruth of other groups who still struggle for this country to do what is right.

the same people you saw in Virginia marching as the neo-nazis and alt-right are the same people that put laws in this country to make sure the only people who benefited from the country positively were white.

you, yes you, still receive privileges from those very people today because in case you didn't know, the white supremacy this country was founded on has never gone away.

stop distancing yourself from this truth and getting mad at minorities who tell you that your privilege is their oppression.

instead, listen to what they have to say, so you can be a better ally instead of being another white savior who saves the day for people who've been telling you and fighting against what their oppression is for decades.

the second thing that puts you in the same place as your peers is the thought process that taking #SayHerName with Ms. Heyer's photo was a good thing to do because of your fears that the president isn't acknowledging her, so he does not care.

#SayHerName was created to bring a voice to the exact people you claim to fight for. it was created to bring attention to the black women killed by police that you ignore.

the hashtag was created for women like sandra bland who was killed in police custody, and other black women who when you do talk about them, you talk about uncomfortably because acknowledging their deaths means acknowledging the racism they died under horribly.

you claim to want to know how to be a better ally and yet you use this hashtag to speak more about the white woman whose name is on every TV screen rather than to speak about the black women you claim to be fighting for, but who you rarely see.

where were you using this hashtag when police slammed Tanisha Anderson into the ground and put a knee in her back, causing her to go limp and for her family to suffer with the consequences of the attack?

where were you using this hashtag when Ciara McElveen was stabbed to death in New Orleans and when the only people who brought up her death were her family, and the people who used the hashtag to bring awareness to not only the black women who die by police brutality who are rarely ever seen, but also to the black trans women whose stories are always being buried?

where were you?

where are you?

do you not see your hypocrisy?

how do you understand that changing #BlackLivesMatter to #AllLivesMatter is not okay, but think because this one woman died, you can change the whole point of a hashtag in a day because she died for equality so who cares about those dead black women anyways?

do you see your hypocrisy now or do you still need help?

how about trying to listen to the black women on twitter and asking how they felt when they saw a hashtag created by them, for them only to see it be run over by people who claim they only want to help.

Ms. Heyer's death was a tragedy and my condolences go out to her family and friends who have to live and grieve with her death because of this mess the country is going through,

but i will not let people take over this hashtag without making them remember the deaths hundreds of other families had to work through, for the only exposure their children to have to be on a hashtag because that would have to make do.

we need to have a group reaction to the riot started by racists in Virginia, but the ways we've come up with online are only an enigma that confuse me to no end.

silencing the people you claim to want to fight for will not help, instead maybe listen to what they've been saying for the past hundreds of years and let the stories they tell be the reasoning behind the words you yelp.

the last thing i have a problem with is the thought process of telling others to be kind as if that will fix our country.

i don't know if your memory of the world is rusty, but since when did being kind to nazis stop them from committing the atrocities they did?

and since when did being kind to racists stop them from continuing to teach it to their kids?

racism will not stop because you're kind to someone and the way things are in america today, should be the perfect example as to why things don't run that way.

we are not the same.

my skin tone and your skin tone are different.

we are not the same.

my culture and your culture are different.

we are not the same.

my experiences and your experiences are different.

we are not the same.

my reaction and your reaction to charlottesville are different.

we are not the same,

but just because we're not, does not mean that our fight to become equal should stop.

we need to keep fighting so that we can make a difference, but we also need to know that in the fight for freedom, we're going to think different.


Cover photo from Lady Gaga's twitter
Photo inside from @antilliaan_