When I began college I definitely had what my mother described as “rose colored glasses.” I saw the world for what it could be, and not necessarily for what it actually is. In the three years that have passed since the beginning of my college career, I have to say that the glasses have definitely come off. I am angry. All the time. And what’s most frustrating is that the legitimacy of my anger is not only ignored, but completely denied. Every single day I get online, and read a story about an unarmed child being dragged across her room like a rag doll, a teenage girl accosted by police, a black man murdered in cold blood. And then I scroll to the comments and find not shock and disbelief, but defensiveness and rancor.
It is people justifying the murders and molestations, bending over and backward to prove that we as black people somehow deserve what is coming to us. And what is saddening is that there is no crime. Simply existing in this skin is justification enough. As Anne Moody said:
“But now there was a new fear known to me—the fear of being killed just because I was black. This was the worst of my fears. I knew once I got food, the fear of starving to death would leave. I also was told that if I were a good girl, I wouldn’t have to fear the Devil or hell. But I didn’t know what one had to do or not do as a Negro not to be killed. Probably just being a Negro period was enough…”
— Coming of Age in Mississippi