A past that Haunts: America & Racism

This is just MY personal opinion. Based on MY personal experiences.

I grew up pretty normal. An American kid. In a southwestern town. My parents aren’t perfect, we were poor and they had issues they overcame in order to provide for their children. We are also a family that check {caucasian} on every bubble sheet or document. My siblings all have a white name. I did not. As the child of a previous marriage I carry the name of a man I never met. It really was a beautiful name. Also, I look white, my natural hair is an auburny-brown, fair skin with lots of freckles… I never stood out by any standard. However, after 9/11/2001 my world changed drastically.

Because of this I have an interesting take on racial profiling.

I was placed on the FEDERAL NO FLY LIST. I have had difficulty getting my passport when all I want to do is sit on the beach in Mexico with my husband while One through Five splash in tidal pools. All because my maiden name. Because it is persian. middle eastern during a time that our country is at war with the middle east. I was called terrible things by the parents of friends. I was physically harassed by TSA agents, Police officers and many others. All of them said the same thing to me “But you look so white.”

I LOOK WHITE. They wouldn’t have harassed me if my name had been that of my siblings and the man that actually raised me: because it is generic and that makes me not a threat.

I cannot even imagine the terror that people of actual color, people that cannot change how the world looks at them by getting married. I changed my name for a number of reasons but mostly because it is so white. Like the Scottish version of Smith. My husband has seen the difference between how a white kid in Louisiana and a black kid in Louisiana are treated for resisting arrest. Louisiana has a history of killing based on race (please refer to the police killings following Katrina)

There are GOOD police officers. I have met them. I know them and they literally rescued me after a car accident while my husband was away when I was 200 miles from home.

There are bad police. My very own Maternal Great Grandfather was a bad, racist police officer.

Good officers do not deserve to be hung for the crimes of the rotten ones. They need to be held up by our nation as the example. GOOD Cops that picked up the badge to protect and serve. Good officers deserves to work with officers that are there for the same reasons they are: the greater good. To help rescue those in need from those that are preying on them, to be role models for our children and who we as Americans can turn to with out fear, no matter our race/religion/creed, for help.

Good police officers do not deserve to be sniped out by an angry man like what happened in Dallas.


But the BAD cops, that are crooked and scared and racist and violent, need to have consequences within the realm of the laws that they swore to uphold but bent to their will, tried by the people they promised to protect but betrayed and not get away with murder of unarmed People over and over.

Racism in this country… It is ugly. It is there. It is heartbreaking when that racism causes people to FEAR for their lives. for their children. I am white. I happened to have a name that was middle eastern. I feared for my safety. I feared for the safety of my muslim and middle easter APPEARING friends after 9/11. I have been called horrible names. I have had my life placed under a microscope and was told that I should just accept it because it was for the greater good of the nation to have my Constitutional rights infringed on (and yes you can always tell when your phone is tapped, mail is intercepted and when you are disproportionately pulled for “random” checks). I was able to hide from that as soon as I became married.

People of color cannot and SHOULD NOT EVER have to hide for fear of preconceived ideas about themselves. Not every Black man is a thug. Not ever Muslim is a jihadist. Not every Mexican is illegally in this country.

Black lives matter movement is important because they are American lives that even 70 years after the Civil Rights Movement still have to stand up and say “Hey, we are here and we deserve to be equal.”

I don’t see the BLM as just for black people. They are the voice of every oppressed person in this country. Black, brown, muslim, LGBTQ. Of every marginalized person in this country. We should all stand up because this is America and we are free to have our voices to point out unfair treatment. To voice out when we see infringement on the rights of the people around us.

To the people that think that a group standing up and requesting the same civil liberties and basic human rights as you are asking for special treatment (IE the right to get married…) then you need to maybe go out your front door and find a little empathy.

Because if we don’t we are no better than the people that turned their heads to oppression in the past.

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