Dear ______ People: Why do you fear the color of my skin?

More stories from Jazmin Moses

Speak Up for Change
April 4, 2017
Dear ______ People: Why do you fear the color of my skin?

Why do you fear my skin? Why is it that when I walk through certain places you stare at me, as though four heads grow from my neck?

Being black and female has taught me that I live in a world where the odds are stacked against me. It has made me stronger than I should be. It has made me grow up faster than I should have.

With all that I have against me, why do you fear me and my skin? Does black and brown represent something that I don’t know about?

Is it the media? Because, according to Atlanta Black Star, “The media continues to broadcast daily imagery of black men as dangerously criminal, using and dealing drugs, hypersexual, unemployable, idle, and the epitome of death and doom. This is true despite the reality that white people have, and do, participate in mob and domestic violence in higher numbers, and that whites comprise more than 70 percent of drug abusers and dealers in our country.”

Black people are not all the same, nor do they act the same. Some of us grew up in tough city areas and some of grew up in white suburbia, and most of us are trying to do our best, to be our best. We’re trying to create change in our communities.

So again, what about my skin scares you? Is it that I stand tall and proud, even when you attempt to degrade and tear me down? That I listened to Maya Angelou and understood I rise, still I rise?

You see us as a rough and threatening, and if we are, that’s because you helped make us that way. But let me tell you this: there’s no reason to be afraid. It is when you are ignorant that you have “reason” to fear what you don’t know.

That is why we are in college; so we can educate one another about each other. So don’t be afraid to ask certain questions, even if you think it might offend us. Most times we can read when you’re trying to be disrespectful. If anything, as history and the present has taught us well, it is those who are black and brown who have more to fear.