My silence has been a disservice to people of color.
Ever since a was a young boy, I have witnessed brutality against my people. I watched as police burned down a city block to remove a African American family because of their beliefs in the 80’s; I watched and witnessed police in the late 70’s early 80’s target and profile black people. I, as a child walking around in the neighborhood with friends, would get told to stop and be frisked even though we were what kids do at a young age: Outside playing. I lived through the brutal murder of my Cousin who was helping his friend when a cop approached them. They ran away, but the police caught up and threw him to the ground, and while he was face down, another cop yelled, “he got a gun,” and the officer shot him in the back of the head. No gun was ever found. Even at the young age of 12, I volunteered at the local police station to help better understand why people of color went through what we did. I always had a fondness for our first responders, and even at that age, I was known as the kid that could make a difference and had a heart for compassion.
My silence has done people of color a disservice.
I have been around educated and uneducated white folks as they spoke of people of color or equity as it were something to despise of. My silence did more harm than good. To all white Americans, silence don’t make change; it lumps us in with those that have the ideology that systemic classism, racism and brutality of people of color is the way to fix the world. This has become real to me after I completely watched the video of George Floyd being murdered. To my people of color, here is why I was silent: I wanted to always be liked; I couldn’t handle people not liking me. I didn’t want to be known as a person who stirred up trouble. I was masking my identity because of the pain and hurt black people went through that came and went before me.
That is why I say my silence has done us a disservice.
I am in a position of influence, and I implore all people of color that are in a position of influence to be silent no more. I have learned that we can be liked, loved and appreciated if we speak out against wrongdoing to our people. Today, I have awaken, and I will no longer stand for these kinds of injustice and ill will taken against people of color. I will use my position of influence to educate our white Americans that you can no longer think about being silent anymore; you need to put that belief system away and be more progressive and open to all people are to be treated as equal. One last thing hanging a sign, chanting black lives matter or patronizing black owned businesses is a great step but not enough. Thanks for listening.
Very emotionally yours,
Terrance has resided in Kenton neighborhood for over 20+ years with his wife and 2 kids. He serves as the KNA Chair and is an active volunteer and advocate for the Kenton Women’s Village. Terrance’s passion for being a supporter and advocate for our houseless neighbors and marginalized communities led him to start a non-profit, Neighbors Helping Neighbors. Terrance is a Retired Serviceman and also run an IT business in Kenton. The KNA’s statement on Black Lives Matter can be found here.