I am a black woman and I am afraid

Wadzanai Dzvurumi

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Wadzanai Dzvurumi

Wadzanai Dzvurumi

I am a black woman living in America, and everyday I am tired and afraid. I am tired of the justice system telling me that young men like Tamir Rice and Michael Brown did questionable things, so they deserved to die. I am tired of a system that claims to protect and serve, but does the opposite. I am tired of being told that racism is dead, yet I constantly see people who look like me being shot dead in the streets for no legitimate reason. I am tired, and I am not going to censor this reality for the comfort of the ignorant, or those who remain neutral on issues of injustice.

I usually avoid writing about racism because a part of me is too angry to speak on the racial issues going on in America. Perhaps it is safe to coin me with the term, “the angry black woman.” I am feeling a lot of emotions: anger, fear, sadness, anxiety and panic. We throw around the word “racism,” but do we really understand what it means, how it is affecting our society and most importantly how it makes those who encounter racism feel? A year ago I would have used a textbook term to define racism, but not anymore.

The textbook definition does not give justice to what racism is. A couple of sentences with undermined words will never be enough to sum up the centuries of social and political discrimination that black people have faced and continue to face in this country. Racism goes far beyond discrimination of skin color; it has more detrimental effects than that described by its definition. People have brought up controversial arguments about racism. It is said that black people cannot be racist, prejudiced yes, but not racist. Racism describes a system of disadvantages based on race, and black people cannot be racist because we don’t stand to benefit from such a system in America. While most of you might bash this concept, as a black person I see the truth in this statement.

How can we be for the system when we are denied jobs because of our skin color and hair? How are black people defended by the system when black people are killed everyday, hardly with any justice being served? When black people turn to protests to be heard, we are labeled as the “uneducated and violent.” Black protests are delegitimized; we are expected to respond to police brutality and racism encounters with poise and composure, that is absurd — I’ll be that angry black woman. We live in fear everyday; everyday is another hashtag for a black life lost — and it won’t stop. We will never be able to move progressively as a human race, if some groups in society are still oppressed.

So I will say it — Black Lives Matter, not to diminish any other lives, but to stand up for my people, that we matter.

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