Upon first moving back to Washington, website D.C. several years ago, I couldn’t have been happier with life or my surroundings. Known to many who reside here as “The District,” Washington, D.C. was once a city of culture and love. The international influence blended with the city’s local flavor was an amazing stage to be on. The festivals… The nightlife… The overwhelming cuisine options all jam-packed into one small community never ceased to amaze me. I was a proud Washingtonian determined to make the District my final resting place ¾ that is, until the 2016 election.
On January 20, 2017, Donald Trump was sworn into the White House and all HELL broke loose! Overnight, I felt like my world was turned upside down. The cultural melting pot that I once adored had suddenly turned into my worst nightmare. Lines were drawn in the sand, true colors started to surface and people woke up to an America that they no longer recognized.
Protests, rallies and riots ensued, therein publicizing what is now one of the most widely used terms to date; STAY WOKE! To stay woke means to stay conscience and aware of racial injustices happening around you. It also requires confronting those injustices, head on. But, are some people misunderstanding this term’s true sentiment? Or, have we somehow managed to change the course of its context to now reflect a racially charged stance?
People of color in the District concluded that the Trump administration declared us to be the nation’s target. Barring our entry into the country and slowly weeding out the small amounts of us that remain, seemed to be the next big bullet point to address and Trump’s new regime wasn’t the least bit shy about saying so. And, with that, neither were we!
Now, people of color everywhere have begun executing both loud and silent revolts. From the refusal to buy from big businesses to the information we feed our children in our homes and schools, no matter the avenue, we can no longer idly standby. Of the many feasible protest routes, I believe the most important, yet equally dangerous track (if not too careful) starts on a local level. The dissemination of information to our children and youth is both paramount and necessary. Not just for their growth, but for the stability of our nation and many others!
Although, I have not yet been blessed with a child of my own, I still have the pleasure of being present in the lives of the children of my family and close friends. On many occasions, I have sat in on difficult, race related conversations and on a few instances I walked away saddened by the outcome.
Supporting individuals of color is one thing, but communicating a dialogue that implies segregation and separation is another. Whether you like it or not, we are all here on this planet together and that is exactly how we all need to move… As a unit… As one! The blending of races, colors and creeds started many, many years ago. We as a people are so far removed from racial purity that I find it hard to fathom this ideology still existing. So, if we allow segregation to re-rear its ugly head, what happens to the individuals of mixed backgrounds? Do they now band together to form their own community, or are they just ignored, set aside and considered collateral damage? Think about it!
I want to leave you all with this, in the hopes that it broadens a few spectrums… Racism is a learned behavior! It’s a deplorable and ugly way of thinking that only exists within the mind of a scared and unsure individual. We have got to stop filling our children’s heads with false perceptions of race and color. In the long run, you are doing them a grave disservice. Feeling alienated and maybe even exiled (to some extent), they will never be able to successfully coexist, anywhere if it continues!
Let’s try teaching our children to be nice to everyone; to stand up for inclusion and to believe wholeheartedly in equality. Let’s start pushing for discussions which advocate healthy lessons on love and impartiality and be rid of hounding them with hate. This is the only way to ensure peace and prosperity for all, everywhere!
Written by Maven Cuttino