Last night there were nine innocent people shot and killed, and it’s all that I can think about as I work. These people weren’t in the streets when they weren’t “supposed” to be. These people were not in their family homes. They were in their safe haven—the church. It was supposed to be a normal Wednesday bible study session but instead it ended in blood and turmoil.

Nine innocent black people murdered by a young white male. They call it a hate crime.

Last week I heard about the planned removal of Haitians from the Dominican Republic, and it’s all that I can think about as I work. The hatred of Haitians by many Dominicans has been embedded into history by way of events such as the 1937 Parsley Massacre. Those who were Haitian or looked dark enough to be Haitian were slaughtered. History shows that the dictator that carried out this heinous atrocity was trained during the U.S.’s occupation of the D.R. When they left, he was put into power. Now, there are neighborhoods being patrolled as “only Haitian migrants” are being pulled out of the country.

Dark skinned citizens, black Dominicans, Haitian migrants, and Dominican Haitians are being ripped from their homes. They call it an ethnic cleansing.

For the past few years I have heard of the unjust handling and unnecessary killings of black bodies by the police in the U.S., and it’s all that I can think about as I work. These acts have been “justified” by “criminal records” and false accounts crafted by the police. They have lost the spotlight as the media has chosen to focus on our anger as a way to undermine our feelings. I get it. The looting of stores holds way more importance than the killing of innocent people. I get it. The police can do wrong. All policemen are here to serve and protect.

Countless black bodies mishandled and murdered by poorly trained policemen. They call it police brutality.

I get to sit in an air-conditioned office as I create civic engagement and social justice curriculum for the youth of this country. I, a 21-year old Black woman, have to teach the youth that their basic human rights aren’t so free and that they have to go above and beyond to create change within their little piece of the world. I have to inspire them and convince them that there is still hope even in a world full of hate crime, ethnic cleansings, and police brutality. 

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