Why I’m Afraid for Black Boys Living in a White World

Junior Kaylee Robinson

Junior Kaylee Robinson

By Kaylee Robinson

“No such thing as a life that’s better than yours,” Jermaine Cole

Junior Kaylee Robinson
Junior Kaylee Robinson

My little brother Kadyn is an eight-year-old African-American boy who will soon have to face the harsh realities of a heavily stereotypical-based society. No matter how hard he will ever work, no matter how many extra hours he’ll put in, no matter how close he’ll come to success, somehow, he’ll always come in second.

Yesterday was Dr. Martin Luther King Day, a day when we celebrate the dream of one African-American man who fought for equality for his people. A dream so deeply rooted in the American dream, that all people could overcome adversity and difficulties. A speech full of hope and acceptance. But why is that this dream somehow has become lost? Somewhere in the mist of fighting for freedom, we forgot who and what we were fighting for. We forgot King had a dream so well thought out, that he began to believe so much, he saw it his vision. So much hate and ignorance toward a race of people makes you start to question yourself. Why is it that black people are killing other black people and not helping and guiding each other?  A dream that one day equality could be for all, matter what the color of your skin was.

What happened when the police in Birmingham, Alabama drove with their white tank and sprayed us down with their water hoses, how did we as a people come together? We stood hand and hand and helped one another because we all wanted the same thing: freedom. Just because by law we were free, doesn’t mean we were physically or mentally. We were oppressed for hundreds of years, and then get blamed for wanting nothing but to drink at the same water fountain as the whites. I say this clear and loud, this is not meant to make you sad or to make you try to understand where my people come from, but it’s just a little taste of color.

Trayvon Martin was a 17-year-old African American who was fatally shot and killed by neighborhood watch, George Zimmerman, on Feb. 26, 2012. Zimmerman was never charged for the murder of young Martin. Who was left to pick up the pieces of such a tragic death? Trayvon’s family and the nation that cried along with them.

Michael Brown was only 18 when he was gunned down by a Ferguson police officer on Aug. 9, 2014. He didn’t live long enough to attend his first day of college. Darren Wilson, 28, was never indicted and was not charged with murder. Yet again, another black male’s life that was taken away will solely be forgotten because his murder gets to live free and go home to his wife and kids every day. Mike Brown’s father won’t be able to do that anymore because that privilege was taken away from him when his son lost his life.

Eric Garner was choked to death by a New York police officer Daniel Pantaleo on July 17, 2014. Garner’s last few words were,” I can’t breathe.” These three short words have sparked the nation and have caused people all across America to ask the same questions. Why are these men and more importantly, officers getting off so easily? As if these lives that had been lost mean absolutely nothing. But we also live in a country where the same people who slander the police will one day beg for their help. The ones who are on government assistance are the ones burning the flag down. Racism lives, but so does ignorance, and that will get us no where as a nation. There are some people that are peacefully protesting by wearing a shirt that has Garners last few words imprinted onto them. NBA basketball stars, such as Derrick Rose and Lebron James have been apart of these acts of bravery and peaceful protest. They have worn these warmup shirts before their games to show respect to Garner.

My greatest fear as an older sister is to have to worry about my brother’s safety. Naive, young, and warm hearted will soon turn into the bitterness and harsh realities of what society will make of him. He will constantly have to fight the odds that will never be on his side. Why? Because the system wasn’t made to help or protect him. What will life really be like for my eight-year-old brother?

“So many bad guys in the world, it’s hard being the only good like mommy tells us to be.” Those words will forever more be tattooed in my heart as I watch him grow into a young man. All of the innocent lives lost by gunfire, caused by hate and prejudgement based on a group of people and what the color of their skin looks like. I don’t want to have to put my brother’s name on the back or front of a T-shirt that has his memorial on it. No mother, father, sister, brother, aunt or uncle ever wants to have to wear a shirt that reminds them of a precious that they will never see again. One of life’s hardest things to bare is accepting, everyone wants to be accepted but no one wants to give acceptance.

I want the world for him, but the world we live in, doesn’t want him. The fact that I know times like this may never change, and things that will knock him down, he might not ever recover from, makes me think about how much change the world would need to endure in order for him to have a safer and happier life. This is the dream I have for him.