So I went to a candle light vigil in remembrance of Michael Brown and all the victims of police brutality today. And something one of the speakers said really stuck with me.
He is a black man and said that he was specifically speaking to all the black people at that particular moment. He said that he wanted to remind them that they were not always guaranteed the rights they have now and the only reason they have them, is because they fought for them.
I thought about that and realized that as a white person, I have always had these guaranteed rights. At least as an English, French, German and other western Europenean-descended person, I have always just been handed many of these rights (now as a woman, that is a different and whole other story). But nevertheless, I have always been in a place of privilege. I have come to realize this more and more over the past few years (especially since entering college), but what that man said really hit home today. The way he phrased it, the feeling behind his voice and the simple bare truth of his words really made me realize not only just how lucky I am, but how much harder it can be just to be born with darker skin.
So, on behalf of my ancestors who were taught discrimination and prejudice towards anyone who was not a straight, cis-gendered white man, I am very sorry for how they probably treated you. I want to work to make sure I am part of a solution and not continuing the problem in wake of the Ferguson movement that is currently gaining momentum and bringing awareness to this ever-continuing problem. I’m truly sorry that my ancestors really sucked as humans sometimes.