Today, as a person of color, I am afraid of America. Last night, when the Zimmerman verdict was revealed, a sense of fear and dread hit me. It hit me not just because of the injustice served to the Martin family, but also fear for the precedence the verdict sets. My partner came home from work late last night and I thanked him for loving me. I am worried for him because he is dating a person of color and he can be caught in the backlash of the racial tension that the country is now facing.
I had always thought that race and ethnicity were personal burdens that could be approached through a like community. I hadn’t really met allies for people of color, because they never identified themselves as such. It was an identity that I had put on the backburner because I was more concerned with finding LGBTQ+ allies.
As a person of color, I am scared. I am scared that I can be shot by someone because I look at them the wrong way. I am scared that I can be shot for having a sour look on my face that can be seen as “threatening.” When the Virginia Tech shootings occurred and the perpetuator was revealed to be Asian, I was pulled aside and asked about my day and if I was having any “problems.” I’ve already been a victim of profiling, and while annoying and insulting, it never made me feel like I was in danger.
Now, I wish I could do something more than wearing a hoodie in solidarity. Although wearing a hoodie today in solidarity, few of us actually have the risk of being shot. That is a privilege.
I don’t know. These are rambling and strung together thoughts done at 6AM when I can’t sleep because I am afraid of my own countrymen.
And now, people online are talking about the death of the actor, Cory Montieth and discussing that over the Zimmerman verdict. While death is tragic, I think the implications of the trail have more visceral impact on the US than having more seasons of Glee.
I wish I could sleep. My mind is a tragic fragile thing right now. But maybe now is my time to write my personal manifesto.
We all deserve to live secure and safe.
“When the people fear their government, there is tyranny; when the government fears the people, there is liberty.” -Thomas Jefferson