Reflection on BLM

As the George Floyd trial begins I’ve looked back at the outrage I felt when it first happened and the subsequent protests and flagrant racism it spewed, because I think it’s important to remember these emotions.

Time passes, other parts of life overwhelm us and we move on.  But justice must be served. Real tangible institutional changes must take place for the country to heal.

Here’s what was going through my mind at the time, when we were all trying to make sense of it all.

I’ve been living as an expat in Spain for coming on ten years now. Being an immigrant has in no way been easy. I’ve often told my husband, that the longer I live away from the States the more it feels like I have no country. I feel out of sync with the American psyche. Every time I go back to visit, I experience major culture shock and no matter how long I live here in Spain, I will never be from here. It will always feel foreign; more importantly, I will always be seen as foreign.

No matter how adapted or acclimated I become.

But aside from this, these past few months I’ve started to feel something I absolutely never have for my country and that is shame. I am so horrified at the series of events taking place. Living it from the outside looking in, it seems surreal.

Now, I in no way am new to the fact that there has always been racism in America. I myself have been victim of the systemic racism and it started in elementary school in New York City in the early 90’s, not some backwoods little town in the South.

It is pervasive and at every level.

All the minorities were put into one class. Segregated from the all white class and as if that weren’t bad enough, we were repeatedly told we were the ‘slow’ class, their words not mine.  Which just simply wasn’t true, my citywide test scores are proof of that. I could go on into much more detail but that’s besides the point.

I thank God that I came from a hard working immigrant family with resources. Because despite my schools best efforts to keep me down I found my way to a higher education and standard of living, which I deserved, which EVERY single student in my ‘slow’ class deserved.

Unfortunately not all of them did, and so yes, the poverty and the delinquency continued because no one ever saw that innocent child and said ‘ you can do better. You are better. ’ They never had a chance, and a New York City public

elementary school saw to that.  

But to see this outright unfiltered bigoted hatred spewed these days, to see what my fellow Americans are facing, the inhumane, indecency of it, is heart wrenching.

And I am embarrassed to call such a hurtful spiteful people my own, but they are mine, because no matter what the rhetoric and divisiveness that is being put out there, and I do believe a lot of it is mass manipulation, we as Americans, at least it’s always been my belief that we stand as one.  We have to stop looking at each other as ‘other’

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