On March 17, it was said that the Atlanta shooter had a bad day, but we have also had bad days. We’ve had bad days when we were spat at; when we were called derogatory names; when we were ridiculed for our culture; when we were assaulted because of the color of our skin. Yet, while he raises his gun, we have been taught to stay silent, keep our heads down and work even harder to gain the acceptance of our oppressors.
We have also been taught to be grateful. They say we should feel lucky to have a job, to have food on our table, to live in the land of the free and the brave when so many people in our homelands are unable to. So, we collectively try to fit in, assimilate and gain approval from a society that will never view us as their own – until our efforts come back to bite us.
Having a “bad day” is no excuse to take the life of someone’s father, someone’s mother, someone’s sibling, someone’s friend, someone whose laughter will never be heard on this earth again. Nothing will be enough for them, for us, and I stand here sick and tired of experiencing the implications of our silence.
We are not exotic. We are not sexualized fetishes. We are not a model minority. We are human beings, and we deserve to be treated as such.