I will never know what it is like to be black in this country;
I never had to have the conversation with my children about how to act so the police don’t kill them;
I will never fear walking down the street in a “good neighborhood” because I might look out of place and be harassed;
I will never be asked “who owns this car” when I am pulled over by the police, and then looked at with suspicion even after I show proof;
I will never be praised for “how articulate” I speak, as if it is a surprise;
I do not fear that my past mistakes, and I have many, will ever be used to justify my murder;
My melanin will never erase my humanity in the eyes of police, prosecutors, or a bigoted public.
I am confident my children will not be gunned down in broad daylight at a park for playing with a toy;
I do not deal with chronic, relentless stress that has a lasting impact on my health and mortality;
I don’t have to worry that if I am strong and assertive I will fall into the stereotypes of the women of my race;
I do not worry that my actions will feed into the beliefs others hold about my race;
I have never had to fight a school system that suspends, expels, or puts my kids into Special Ed at an alarmingly disproportionate rate;
I will never be accused of “playing the race card”, lying or exaggerating when I speak the truth about my life experiences;
When I go to a high end store I am not followed around – I will not be frisked, patted down, or put in handcuffs simply for shopping while black.
My eyes swell with tears, my heart aches, my mind races trying to make sense of it….
but, I will never KNOW, it will never be my day-to-day reality
So all I can continue to do is listen, be empathetic, demand systemic change, and validate experiences.