Editorial: The narrative must be changed

Protest 3

MADISON, Wis. — I’ve always remained silent when it comes to controversial issues and the injustices faced by African Americans.

Not because I didn’t feel the pain, but because I work in public media. My mentors suggested not to voice my opinion, but it’s time for me to speak up.

The death of George Floyd hit me a little harder than the others. He was an African American male… just like me. He’s a native of Houston… just like me, but what struck me the most was learning that he was known for mentoring other young men through ministry…. Just like I do here in Madison each and every single day.

I often wonder why society sees my life as less valuable because of a skin color that I can’t control. Throughout childhood I was told racist jokes by white classmates. These “jokes” caused me to wonder why I was considered less capable of life achievements because of a skin color that I can’t control.

In college, a professor told me to drop out because I’d never be smart enough to be a meteorologist, hinting at my race as a factor. I’ve always wondered what motivated him to say that.

The truth is, I’ve wondered for far too long. It’s time for a change. In the past few days many of those same classmates have reached out to me and apologized, asking me how they can help the cause. I’m thankful, but the momentum can’t stop there.

The narrative must be changed, so that our future don’t have to do this very thing I’m doing now. The narrative must be changed so that our future children don’t have to experience “the talk” that all black parents have to give about police safety. The narrative must be changed so that our future children can know that they’re valued, loved and capable of anything, just as my parents taught me.

The Declaration of Independence says “we hold these truths to be self-evident, that all are created equal.”

Let’s live like that.