by Andy J.
I want to protest. I want to let people know that racism is foul, and that we should change our minds about how we see people of color in America. I want to walk through my city with a big sign advocating for peace, unity, and equality. I want to feel safe here.
Unfortunately, I am not. Living as a Black man in Shamokin, Pa for these past years, I have witnessed so much racism spilling out of people whom I didn’t even expect. It comes in forms of ignorance and bigotry. Sometimes it’s blatant. My family members have all been on the receiving end of racial slurs and hate speech. My mom who always wears a smile, had been physically attacked here in 2006. My brother, the nicest person you’ll ever meet was called a n***er at his job, to his face, as recently as 4 weeks ago. Around a group of at least 20 people at Susquehanna University, someone yelled the n-word to my face and I was shocked as nobody around did or said anything.
This area has a history of white-washed education. People here don’t have enough of the Black and Brown perspective. They watch the media and absorb what they see in movies. There is little to no diversity to represent minorities. People’s parents teach racism in the households. I bet a few of you reading this right now have grandparents who still use the hard r.
My point is, you can be respectful, kind, peaceful and passive. You can graduate high school with a 700+ on the reading section of your SATs. You can be involved in numerous sports, clubs, activities. You can be educated with a bachelors from Susquehanna University. You can go to Trinity Lutheran Church on Sunbury Street every Sunday. You can never commit a crime. You can work your ass off at a 9-5 every day, pay your bills on time, without public assistance, and spread love through your community and still be spat on and called a nigger…
That’s why people are protesting. The attitudes and actions NEED to change. It’s so obvious that America needs to change that we have other countries protesting on America’s behalf. America…we need to change. Assemble, donate, advocate for inclusion. Get rid of these hateful beliefs. Please. We love you, we just want you to love us back.
Andy lives in Shamokin, PA and has recently graduated from Susquehanna University with a bachelor’s degree. He is a 22-year-old Shamokin Area High School (SAHS) alum and is a very positive role model in his community. He is a former drum major and varsity basketball player at SAHS.
Originally posted to Instagram https://www.instagram.com/p/CA5hM4_lpyZ/
There will be a protest for George Floyd in Shamokin on Thursday, June 4 at 2 pm – Market & Independence Street.