Let Every Color Breathe!

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We have been hit by the worst crisis of all time and all lives have come to a standstill. There is uncontrollable mayhem that nature has brought before us in the guise of a lethal virus. But what about the virus that we humans have shaped and allowed to breed alongside? Mankind has left no stone upturned to let its demons like racism and hate add to the turmoil. 

These words that put mankind to shame. I usually refrain from indulging in debates but I have to condemn mindsets that overlook the simple fact that NO life is any less precious. Today I find myself involuntarily involved in the agony. Agreed that there are two sides to everything you see but I believe you must swerve regardless when you hear “I can’t breathe”. The three words that have rocked the emotions of already wearied hearts of millions of people. 

George Floyd’s unfortunate death has flooded social media after the pandemic. It is overwhelming due to the updates, videos on peaceful protests across the country gone wrong, slogans, and painful messages from the African American community. Then there was a heart-wrenching post on Facebook by the former president of the United States of America Mr. Barack Obama.

( view at https://www.facebook.com/6815841748/posts/10157793322466749/?vh= )

Tears rolled down my eyes as I read his post. In the post, he shared parts of conversations with his friends equally outraged by this, and the video of a song by 12-year-old Keedron Bryant that stirred my soul. His song reflects pain and anguish as he appeals for the life he deserves and what is his right anyway. To me, he not only represents the community that hasn’t been looked beyond color and has struggled for way too long, but also the innocent hearts of young children that don’t deserve to hold so much pain and fear. His song titled ” I just wanna live” breaks my heart for I’m a mother and I feel a child’s pain. 

Respect for all. No conditions apply.

Many people come to this country with the dream of a secure life for themselves and their future generations. A country that is now far from the path of becoming great again. But as this event unfolded, we witnessed the prevalence of depth-less mindsets that still carry out their conduct towards others based on color and race. It is disturbing to learn that despite our headway in technology, better education, and globalization, we still have prejudices like racism and discrimination in our society. The sheer fact is any country can’t become great or rise if its people don’t deem the entire human race as one community. Respect and empathy for each other can never be conditional and it is the right of every human regardless of its race and appearances.

I am an Indian but I call myself a global citizen. I expect to be treated with the same respect no matter where I go. I believe this is the urge of every human on the planet and the wish of every mother for her children.

It hurts because it matters.

I am unsettled looking at the hurt, tears of humans that are mourning over the unmerciful treatment received by another human. Some may pull up facts that I don’t know and I will be made to learn politics. Can someone also help me unlearn the anxiety I feel after this event of cruelty as an analog to racism? 

If it’s about a felony that demands action, then law & order should do what it is expected to. No system ever authorizes its delegates to rule and serve justice without hearing the other person’s voice. Ironically, one man who kept voicing in however feeble but audible tone “I can’t breathe” wasn’t even heard.

Today, it’s not one community that mourns the death of George Floyd but every human who has arrived at the fact that we are much more than just a race. We are dreams. There are protests all over the country to get justice for the family of George Floyd – an African American that the world didn’t know before but will never forget now.

Our children deserve a virus-free world.

Children are naïve and one incident is enough to pop their bubble of belief. Many people in the past have experienced racism and many still do but not everyone is brave enough to skin the hurt and make a mightier comeback. How do I empower them if I lose faith in the society we live in? What assurances do I have that my children will not endure discriminatory treatments because of their skin color? 

 

I teach my children to be strong and voice their opinions without fear. I tell them to keep faith in a country and its system. I work incessantly to educate them on equality and the power of character regardless of their color, race, and religion. 

I am brown and my children won’t look any different either but do I want to live my life worrying about their safety? What if their capabilities, their dreams, and their self-respect aren’t safe here? What if they will never be given the best chance to speak if a moment of uncertainty arrives? These thoughts haunt me and make me anxious. I ask myself if I want to be here and give my children the false hope of a brighter future? 

Our lives can never be worry-free if perils like racism continue to exist. We can’t give a better world to our next generations if we don’t resolve to take corrective measures today and annihilate self-created problems. 

Restrict the growth of “wrong” by expressing what is “right”!

Cavalierly suppressing any community because of its color or any other societal parameters isn’t acceptable. If this pandemic wasn’t enough to teach us the true meaning of disaster then we humans have our virus in the guise of ‘racism’ to take us there. We collectively are ensuring to call upon us the “ Doomsday”. Some by acting unlawfully, some by enduring it and some by ignoring it.

“There comes a time when silence is betrayal” – Martin Luther King, Jr.

One life lost and many more in jeopardy now as we are still amidst a pandemic, I hope all this wasn’t for nothing. I hope to see a change in the system, the mindsets, and justice someday.

It’s important to remind ourselves each day that no effort is too small to have an impact. If this is affecting you, express it because every voice matters. After all, we are all much more than just race and color. 

 

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