There we were: sitting in class listening to the professor speak about why civil rights campaigns may not be the most efficient way to get stuff done. I felt my blood boil listening to him say over and over again how people will continue to be jerks so we might as well not try. But– is life not full of examples of great people who were able to lead nations towards a specific goal? If Gandhi had not existed, would India have remained the same? If James Madison had not gone out and sympathized with the people after the burning of Washington in 1814, would our young nation have survived such a great hit? Would the Titans be remembered if Denzel Washington had not united a segregated town through high school football?
There we were: all united by the concepts and ideas we had been learning all semester long. Still separated by things we couldn’t ignore: the color of our skin, our social class, our gender, our identity, whether we prefer Apple or Windows. All of these are part of our self-chosen environments; both in their nature and in how we value one over another. Among these choices, we struggle to find a common ground where everything can be pink and pretty. But can evil truly be destroyed?
There we were: saying the only way to stop violence was by retaliating with more violence. When was evil created? Who created it and for what purpose? I found myself gripping the chair to avoid bursting in the middle of lecture. I wanted to run and ask whoever first drew the Yin-Yang sign to figure out where he got the black part from.
There I was: the ticket lady giving me a strange look when I said I wanted 2 tickets to The Exorcist but there was no one with me. There I was: sitting in the theater all by myself at 2am when the priest in the movie gave me the answer: we cannot destroy what was never created. Evil has always existed, so it is impossible to kill off all the bad people because then there would be no good; in other words, the stars only shine because there is darkness.
There I was: staring at the ceiling unable to sleep thinking about this.
Can one have an accurate perception of what discrimination is or the effects of it if they have not experienced it first-hand? They may have the logic to unravel it but you don’t know how hot it is until you touch it, can you?