I am being raised in a country where there is always talk about how accepting the USA is of all races but at the same time openly discriminating against people of color. To make things worse, this is a country where we are still fighting for human rights – not civil rights – for Black Americans, specifically Black Americans and African Americans who actually left their countries to build America, were forced to be slaves against their will, sold and bartered for land, raped, murdered, had to fight to vote, had to fight to sit anywhere on a bus, shop anywhere they wanted and more importantly get an education. Now in 2020, we are trying to tell police that it is not okay for you to kill an unarmed black person who may or may not have done anything wrong but at the same time watch the police take a 21-year old man, who just murdered 9 African Americans in a church, to Burger King because he was hungry. How does that happen? Month after month we hear about black men and women being murdered and black children and teenagers being thrown to the ground and treated like terrorists and at the same time we have people wondering why there are riots and so much unrest around the world. Because Black Lives Matter. NOT ALL LIVES, right now we are talking about Black Lives.
We are all responsible to make sure we educate ourselves on what is right and wrong and remember the history of how much wrong has happened all over the world. We are responsible to speak up for our friends, classmates and even those we don’t know and fight for their basic human rights when they are just trying to breathe and survive. It is much easier for me to sit back and say I am too young to worry about this and I didn’t create this mess but that would make me part of the problem. I wasn’t taught to sit back and ignore the problems around me, instead I am going to create new goals for myself and hopefully my family and friends will follow. I’m going to be inclusive, educated and open-minded. I am going to stand by those who need support, I am going to stand against those who are wrong, those who discriminate, those who judge people based on the color of their skin, and I am going to speak up against racial injustice because hate will not be tolerated. I am going to be part of the change. I hope that you are too.
Sami is 15 years old and is going to be in 11th grade at Poughkeepsie High School. He enjoys biking, basketball and pretty much anything outdoors and is starting his prep for the SATs and ACTs.