Never Nullify or Detract From Someone Else's Pain, History, & Positive Productive Actions

Dear Conversation Participants: A, B, & C

Photo by Debby Hudson on Unsplash

To speak on someone else’s pain and history is OKAY IF you have developed a genuine empathy and real understanding.

However, many people today speak on issues and events they have never experienced.

It is easy to believe the issues that other people face do not exist when you have been born into privilege or a background that is not disenfranchised.

No matter how you slice or dice it, you can’t directly relate to specific individuals if you were not born into that group.

Ignorance has been the most consistent pandemic that has resulted in the demise of many people’s lives. Not only death has come about due to ignorance, but the lives of many have become unnecessarily painful, burdensome, and unlucky.

I encourage anyone and everyone not to nullify anyone's pain or history.

“Victimization”: Speaking about the pain and history one has experienced—on top of taking direct productive actions—is not being a victim; on the contrary, it helps bring about awareness and change for issues that still need resolution.

The last century and the current century have both fought for similar things. Those who think the present century doesn’t compare to the previous century is another way of trying to pacify the on-going pain of Black communities. We are still fighting for the same issues:

1. Unnecessary killing of Black people

2. Mass incarceration (the new slavery/free labor) within minority communities

3. Subtle and direct racism in the workplace, education systems, and residential communities

4. Being targeted for merely being Black

Laws: Some laws can help bring about change within different communities, but laws do not remove racism. If laws put in place for Black people were so powerful, we would be much farther than we are now.

Rights: Have been created to maintain equality within all communities, yet so many are still having trouble accessing rights or utilizing their rights. We can see this happening right in Georgia during the multiple voting events that took place without integrity. Many people showed up to vote, yet machines were broken, and lines were unrealistically long—preventing many from having a voice in the democratic process.

Innocence: Yes, many minority individuals have committed crimes, but does that make it okay to put them away in the prison systems longer than their white counterparts? Does this make it okay to shoot them in more significant numbers than their white counterparts? Does this make it okay to abuse them in large quantities than their white counterparts? Does this make it alright never to allow them to have a voice (vote) again? Does this make it okay to take their future away from them in more significant numbers than others?

Affirmative Action: We need affirmative action because generations upon generations have been DENIED the same opportunities as others. Yes, a white person may be turned down for a job today over a diverse candidate, but our community has been turned down too many times even to count. Being turned down for a job is something one can easily overcome. It takes a lot more strength to overcome being turned down for housing, loans, educational opportunities, voting, employment, medical access, etc.

This is not a race war. This is not White vs. Black. This is not, my pain < your pain. This is not my country is worst off than your country. This whole conversation is to say: When Black people have a movement, when Black people are trying to have a voice, when Black people are trying to speak up, when Black people are trying to bring awareness to the issues they face daily, other communities don't need to come in and say things like:

1. What about the white kid that was killed by a black person?

2. What about the white kid suffocated by cops, but no one paid attention to him?

3. What about the white people being shot in large numbers?

4. What about the fact that you all aren't slaves anymore?

5. What about the fact that this century is nothing like the last century for blacks?

6. What about the fact that you all have equal rights just like us?

7. What about the fact that laws have been passed to empower black people?

8. What about this, what about that, what about……. [fill in the Black]?

All, I ask is that you put yourselves in the shoes of a Black woman or Black man. Oh right, this is impossible because you never will be Black. This goes for other minorities too. All minorities have unique issues, and you will never hear me trivializing, nullifying, or speaking from "first-hand experience" on the problems that other minorities face because I am Black and only Black.

When Black people come together, as a country, we need everyone to support us, understand us, and not try to detract from the cause of our movement. If you do not understand the movement, I recommend spending some time educating yourselves on Black History.

But be careful before you speak about other’s experiences. Just because you are a minority does not mean you have a complete understanding of the pain we go through. Be careful before you bring up another community’s experience and make the moment about you. Be careful before you trivialize the pain that many Black people still face today. Because when you do this, you are only showing the world that Black Lives Do not matter as much to you.

Thank you for the conversation. I will always welcome a conversation with others to learn more about their POV and experiences, and also to ensure I leave you with our POV.

Everyone is equal. No one is better than the other. Once we get to this point, we can work together as a global world to elevate the lives of everyone—together.


D.S. Harris

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