When you’re a little kid everyone asks what you want to be when you grow up; you have to think about your future as an adult; it seems so magical when you’re young. You say you want to be a doctor or a chef, maybe a scientist or professional soccer player.
Never did I think my future career goal would be fighting for the right to life and opportunities for black and brown people. That didn’t necessarily align with my idea of a magical adulthood where my peers and I have the opportunity to be “anything we want.”
This week I was afforded the opportunity to sit in on a webinar on the criminalization of girls of color. Through this webinar and the readings from the previous week, I thought about how the systems and laws created to protect underserved communities still seem to leave out people of color. One of my supervisors made the comment after the webinar, that the issue of criminalizing girls of color in court was an issue brought up MANY years ago and yet is still an issue people are recently learning about.
I see a lot of discussion on social media platforms about how systems created to oppress people of color cannot be the same ones to save them. It really brings into question if these systems maintaining the exclusion of black and brown people is the only solution for true inclusion of black and brown people. I can’t imagine the United States breaking down the systems they spent so long putting into place to create these disparities. So, it makes me wonder what the future holds for people of color. There are young children in immigration camps who already see that the United States is not a magical place. There are young black boys who already know their life is seen as expendable. As we expose the injustices and speak out against them, I wonder what the future generations will encounter if we break down these systems and more importantly what it will look like if we don’t.