“Stand Beside Her, And Guide Her”
One of the most iconic lyrics that describes America is that “America is the land of the free and the home of the brave. However, that lyric should have come with an asteroid attached to it explaining that it’s only free if you’re white and people of color have to be brave enough to try to live in White America. Authors Ibram X. Kendi and Jason Reynolds co-writes the novel Stamped Racism, Antiracism, and You, to highlight the issues rooted by racism. The reality that Kendi emphasizes in the introduction, is that people of color aren’t the problem in America and in fact racist ideologies and stereotypes are. As a woman of color, I am completely aware of the disadvantages that come simply because of the race I check off when identifying myself to an establishment. I understand and realize that white privileged most certainly exist in American culture. And I also understand that every one of the American systems was not created for POC but instead was built to only benefit the oppressor, white people. However I also want to believe, just as Kendi explains at the end of the introduction, that “there will come a time when we will love humanity, when we will gain the courage to fight for an equitable society for our beloved humanity, knowing, intelligently, that when we fight for humanity, we are fighting for ourselves. There will come a time” (Kendi Reynolds xx).
In the midst of today’s political climate and division in this country, change is inevitable and urgent. Kendi, already alludes to the struggles that people of color, specifically Black people, deal with on a daily basis. Such as, the constant overhanging fear of being a victim to police brutality or another hashtag as well as having to battle the negative sterotypes that have been generationally made about Black people. These negative misconceptions that have been put on POC due to racism, is not going away with the current Administration, in fact racism and prejudice is actually being amplified. The frequent use of racial rhetoric stated at such a national level, gives encouragement for ignorant people to mimic the same language locally. Due to the fact that racism is an intersectionality issue, it is pivotal for all groups of people to mobilize together to demand and fight for change. Furthermore, living in a world free of racism is an idealistic point of view. Getting rid of racism, particularly in the United States, is going to be a long a rigorous journey simply due to the fact that the United States was built on racism and the backs of Black people. However the only way to fight and attempt to overcome racism is together, because at the end of the day people are just people and they shouldn’t be judged by the color of their skin but rather their character as a whole.
Ibram X. Kendi was right. He was right that the time is now for POC to come together to fight for equality. Now it’s time for people of color to Stand Beside Their Freedom, and to Guide America into the melting pot it is meant to be.