No, He's Not Just Tan
This is a picture of my crazy, hyper, beautiful five year old nephew Jahki. He absolutely loves doing black flips, front flips, and non stop moving. And yes, he is half african-american. One time a lady thought he was just really tan, and I was slightly concerned for her eyesight and her mind.
First, let me say I am a white female, so I can't say I know the struggles of being African-American. The closest thing I can relate to that is being a female. But my nephew is half-black. And my biggest fear in life is the things he will face in his future. I hear people who say racist comments, assuming I won't speak up, and they seem to not realize nor care that they are doing it. In my typical sarcastic language I reply, well, I'm glad I made it through the day with my five year old nephew. I didn't realize the color of someone's skin made them more dangerous.
I fear for him every day. I fear for the day that someone crosses the street because they see the color of his skin. I fear for the day that he realizes he has been stereotyped because his skin isn't as white as others. I fear for the day that he hears that awful word that tears him down and discriminates against him. I fear for the fact I can tell he's starting to notice color, and I never want his innocence to be stripped away from him. He's a five year old boy, but I wonder how people's views of him will change as he grows up, and that absolutely terrifies me. Mostly because I know he will face these challenges. It's not a question. Our society hasn't evolved as much as it needs to yet. You can see that every day. I'm terrified because I won't know what to say, but I'm more terrified because the thought of someone ever being cruel to him is the worst thought in the world.
Every single day people face these things, all because of a color. They say people talk black, people talk white. What does that even mean? How can you talk a color?
Everyone has a voice to speak up and defend things they believe in. We can write, photograph, make art, make music, or find so many other ways to take a stand with what we support. There's been a lot of times in my life where I don't stand up for myself or I hold my tongue. But when it comes to this I will not hold my tongue. I will always defend human equality. I will always defend my nephew. No one deserves to be discriminated against or stereotyped because of their skin color, their gender, their sexual orientation, etc. The only category of people I'll be prejudice against are ass holes.