From a Johns Hopkins University student organizing for #RiseUpOctober

October 19, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


“An unequal opportunity given to unqualified minorities” This is how a white student defined Affirmative Action upon being asked in a cultural competency class my first few weeks in college. A justification as to why I and my fellow students of color had the privilege to be sitting in a Johns Hopkins classroom. Right then, I wondered what did she see when she saw me? A fellow woman who Affirmation Action was originally designed for the equal opportunity of? A fellow student going through the same experience as her? Or did she just see Black, which in her eyes makes me unqualified, incompetent, and not worthy of the same seat that she too finds her self in. Our seats were not equal because I am Black. She deserved hers more than I did mine because I had an “unequal opportunity” that she didn’t. I told her that I thought her definition was racist. She said, “I don’t see race, I’m colorblind”. I said, “If you don’t see color you don’t see me, If you don’t see race, you’re not paying attention.”

At what point do we decide to pay attention? To speak up? To take action? How many more Black students have to feel inferior? How many more kids have to be shot? How many more marches? How many more protests? How much more do Black lives have to matter before you start caring about them? Choosing to remain apathetic is choosing to side with injustice. Being silent only helps them keep us voiceless.



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