As a niece of a black woman, black lives have always mattered to me. I loved my deceased Aunt Thelma. She lived in a time when a white man, uncle, and a black woman, my aunt put up with unneeded racism. To my surprise, some of it was from my American family. I had another good friend who married a black man in the 1950s. As far as she knew, racism never existed in her family. But, when she marries a black man, no one ever spoke to her again. In her words, ” I woke up one day as if my entire support system, my family was dead.”
My international family consists of Arabs, Irish, Chinese, Black, and Jewish. Hating people for their race is foreign to me. But as a child growing up in Iraq, Iran, Japan, and the United States, I have personally experienced the tension of how people feel about me depending on how they perceive me.
In honor of Juneteenth and my Aunt Thelma- I saw a short video that eloquently provides a brief history that is not well known to most Americans. Including me.
If you would like to learn more about the police department and their history with minorities, Victor E. Kappeler, Ph.D. from Eastern Kentucky EKU, chronicles the relationship between policing and slavery.
I encourage you to watch the video and read the article to understand how far back these issues date.
You also may be interested in reading COVID-19 Drive Through Testing & Telehealth Services for marginalized Communities.