Growing up, we used to want to be like Mike. Fly through the air and save your allowance for the new pair of his Air Jordans. Thinking of our hero made you forget how hard it can sometimes be to be a person of colour.  Which brings me thinking  How Not To Become a Hashtag? It is a story from the life of People of Colour in 2020 Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) or not brown men can sometimes feel as if they have a target on their backs and chests. 

How Not To Become a Hastag | Life for People of Colour in 2020

Sadly this is life as—a person of colour in 2020.  Early data shows the coronavirus is hitting black and brown communities in the U.S. & U.K. extremely hard. On any given day we are turned into a hashtag. Either for being heroic as a front line worker during this pandemic, dying from it, or being gun down.  I wish that they were not how my brothers and sisters were becoming famous. 

Black Americans Face Alarming Rates of Coronavirus Infection in Some States

Data on race and the coronavirus is too limited to draw sweeping conclusions, experts say. Still, different rates of sickness — and death — have emerged in some places—even reports of front line workers like Belly Mujinga. A mother, wife and friend to many, lost her life to COVID-19. She and a co-worker both caught the virus from being assaulted (spat on) by a man who claimed he had the virus while she was working at Victoria Station in London. The incident occurred on March 22nd if anyone has information they should report it.

Are we brown people being blamed for everything these days.  Our hearts broke again with the death of  Ahmaud Arbery.  Who was shot down while going on a jog in his neighbourhood?   The alleged gunmen were not arrested until weeks after te insistent.  At this point, there are too many stories like this to document. 

That skin colour are the bad guys in America's fantasies of vigilantism? When the proverbial "fellas" get together to drink beers and talk about their newest guns and who they'd takedown, what race are the "criminals" in the theatre of their minds?

When Greg McMichael and his son, Travis, got the call from their neighbour that a "burglar" was running through their Brunswick, Georgia neighbourhood that chilly February day, what colour man do you think they imagined as they locked, loaded, and embarked on their "mission"?

Ahmaud Arbery is dead today because when Americans dream of vigilante justice, black men are the villains of their imaginations.

We, the people of colour, are exhausted by turning on the news virus or no virus. And we are tired of hearing about another death or disrespectful actions against our sisters and brothers across the world. Why is it a crime to brown? We are dying from the pandemic and for just being black on the street.  When will this epidemic end?

We, as people of colour, are also fitting this fight alone. Where are all our down white friends like in the 60's? Are white people afraid to stand up for us too? I cannot imagine what it feels like to be the mother of a brown son and having to have that talk.  I remember growing up and waiting for my brothers to come home on a Friday night. 

Teaching our sons how to act around the police is embedded in the brown family.   We have to let them know lynchings do happen. We also have to teach our daughters that sexy trafficking is not only a white thing too.

It is astonishing to me that books like The Fire Next Time from James Baldwin is so prevalent today.  I wonder if there will ever be a day it won't be a crime to be brown? A day that being black does not mean you are angry. Or a black man is not terrifying, and a black woman is not overly sexualized. 

We are all going through trauma from just being brown. Will the world ever take us seriously and stop picking on us. I, for one, am tired of us being famous because of a hashtag. There needs to be a new revolution, but will anyone listen? 

For now, we have to stick together and get over our internal brown problems. Teach our sons they are not targets but Kings .  Teach our daughters they are queens, not sexual items.  Then maybe we won't be hashtags but world leaders and mothers of nations.  Let us know below how you fell o this topic.

May 19, 2020

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