Oppressors need to acknowledge the pain they have caused

BY TAYLOR LONGMIRE '20

As an African American woman, I am scared. As an African American, I am scared. As an American, I am scared. As a person, I am scared. The problem is not that I am scared. The problem is that people are afraid to admit that it is okay to be afraid. People keep allowing themselves to believe fear has won, that this is the worst that it can get. My brothers and sisters — those who acknowledge the terrible world we live in and wish for a change — we must realize that we do not have to suffer. It is not over and it will never be over. We can always do better, we can always push forward. That ability has never been and never can be taken away from us. People don’t want to believe this, they say it can’t be that simple, but I am begging you all to realize that it is that simple. I am not asking for much, yet because of the color of my skin, because I have a vagina, because I worship God the way I want to, because I stem from poverty, because I allow individuality within myself and everyone around me, I can’t have it. 

Those who can not comprehend the fact that Donald Trump has become president are so shocked because it is the wake up—call that no longer has a snooze button. As a nation, it is finally being understood that people need to be called out for what they have done to wrong others. The people who are just now becoming scared can finally realize what I have always had to fear. They knew they were in the wrong, but now that we realize just how wrong they have been, we can not allow them to continue to get away with it.

I am not asking for much. I don’t want tears shed. I don’t want pain or payback. All I want — all I need — is a sincere apology. I need the oppressors, in all the sickening forms they come in, to acknowledge that this is not what a successful country should be built on. That racism, prejudice, homophobia and sexism were created by the white “founders” of this country, and because of them, people must suffer. It needs to be learned, and taught, that “equality” should not be giving everyone the same thing, but giving each individual what it is that they need to have a sustainable future.

I was taught that light will always prevail. You can stick a candle into the darkness, but you cannot stick darkness into a candle. But what I need to understand — what I hope I can get others to understand — and what I hope we can continue to explore, is that there needs to be someone brave enough to light the candle in the first place. 

I am not going to pretend I have a solution. I don’t. But I will devote the rest of my life to help trying to figure it out. And if it takes a village, then so be it. I will be there, doing my best to help build one.

Feed the resistance.

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