“Hey monkey.” “You guys need to stop having so many kids and being deadbeat dads.”
“Why can’t you guys put away the guns and stop killing each other?”
These are comments I’ve personally received in the span of 24 hours this weekend.
The fact is, these words don’t hurt… I’m not even mad. But simply put, I am tired. I’m tired of having to explain and defend myself against extremely ignorant and one-dimensional opinions using a blanket statement based on stereotypes. I’ve become immune to hearing racial slurs being shouted my way while using transit in a city considered to be welcoming of other cultures. My experience, my education, my choices, my words, my thoughts, my feelings… all overlooked when the colouration of my skin is used to classify me within a very narrow “ideal”.
When I’m told all lives matter, I wholeheartedly agree. All lives should matter, but they clearly do not. What happens when I’m told repeatedly by strangers that my life isn’t worth as much as theirs because of the amount of melanin my body has produced? Why is it wrong to say #BLACKLIVESMATTER in response?
If you feel uncomfortable with people using this hashtag, asking why there is a disregard for the security of Aboriginal women in Canada, or the importance of having gender parity… let’s have a positive and constructive discussion about it.
Difference in thoughts and opinions are guaranteed to happen since we are all different individuals. However, respect should be a mandatory foundation instead of a luxury given to a select few.
Peace, Love and Happiness y’all.