This is not the first time white supremacy has negatively impacted our mental health. All youth of color. Young Black people. Young women of color. Homeless youth of color. Trans*, Queer, Bisexual, Lesbian, and Gay youth of color. Immigrant youth. Differently-abled youth of color. All marginalized youth! Many of us know what it is like to grow up being perceived, assumed, and treated as inferior, unfit, invisible, abnormal, or illegal as children, as teenagers, as young adults.
Do not give white supremacists the pleasure of having us fighting each other. Allow yourself to be angry, but do not channel that anger onto stalking, harassing, bullying, hitting, or murdering other youth of color. Take Zimmerman’s verdict as a reminder to urge us to continue positively impacting the health and wellness of our youth, families, and communities of color. Focus on healing justice, not on perpetuating a vicious cycle of broken hearts and depressed parents.
There are many ways for us to continue being active and alive, strengthening and inspiring healthier, kinder, and safer communities rather than going from victims to predators. Let’s continue producing honest conversations with our neighbors about the impact of white supremacy in our lives. Educate and empower people to express their internalized issues, to embrace healing circles with youth from all walks of life. Discuss privileges, but don’t undermine intersecting identities neither shame those in the process of dismantling their assumptions, nor destroy common shared values. Break the silence about white desires at home, at church, at your fraternity/sorority house, on your syllabus, among panelists during panel discussions, behind funded research teams and non-profits, during HR interviews, on your Army billboards and recruitment tabling hours, at your job fair… What kind of white are you? What kind of white do you want to stay? What kind of hetero and LGBTQ whitening practices does your “human rights” campaign, community based organization, law firm, leadership lab team, GSA club, Political Science club, Bible club, telenovela channel, or favorite antro perform?
People of color’s lives, bodies, and voices matter!
What happened to Trayvon is unacceptable and will not be forgotten. Today more than ever I believe we must stay united as youth of color. We must rise and survive TOGETHER. We must reject white supremacy, not ignore the topic. With your mindfulness, stories, talents, resilience, and assistance, we will. We all sure will.