You never saw me. Oh, you saw the color of my skin, but you never saw me.
How could you?
When I walked into the store, you were too busy following me around.
When I sat down at my desk, you were too busy wondering how I got into this school.
When I moved into my office, you were too busy thinking I was just another affirmative action hire.
When I moved into my home, you were too busy wondering if the property value would go down.
But what you didn’t see is while you were too busy to see me, I was too busy to see you either.
Not because of the color of your skin.
That was of no importance to me,
Because I know you have the system rigged against me
I was too busy studying and working twice as hard as you.
I was too busy finishing in the top 10% of my high school class.
I was too busy deciding what university was worthy of me accepting their full academic scholarship.
I was too busy graduating from that university summa cum laude.
I was too busy upon graduation shifting through my countless job offers.
I was too busy purchasing my home because that full academic scholarship I got meant I didn’t have all that student debt you did.
So since you can’t see me let me tell you who I am.
I’m that person who will never fake who I am to make you feel comfortable,
who has no desire to prove my worth to you,
who will never apologize for the hue of my skin.
So, you keep busy looking at my beautiful bronze skin
get with the times and see me for who I am.
Either way, I’m going to keep soaring.
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Today the NFL issued a statement stating that NFL owners have unanimously approved a new national anthem policy that requires players to stand if they are on the field during the performance but gives them the option to remain in the locker room if they prefer.
This policy sadly misses the point. Hijacked by the President, the original intent of the protest was never about the anthem. In this case, the anthem is simply a means to an end used as the “prop” to bring to light the injustices perpetrated on people of color daily. One could say without the anthem; there could have been a stage for the protest.
This action serves one purpose, silencing the voice of protest by shoving it in a locker room.
NFL players should respond in kind with a statement: We see opting to stay in the locker room during the anthem as a real sign of disrespect. Kneeling during the anthem is our peaceful way of shedding light on the treatment of people of color by a segment of the population while at the same time maintaining respect for the flag and those servicemen and women who have fought under it to continue to preserve our way of life. We stand with them and all Americans, or as James Baldwin so eloquently stated: I love America more than any other country in this world, and, exactly for this reason, I insist on the right to criticize her perpetually.