You and your parents are having casserole on a Tuesday evening when you hear three loud knocks. Your father puts down his fork, dabs his mouth, and then heads to answer the door. You sneak a peak from the window and witness three men dressed in black uniforms and carrying badges. Without warning they haul your father from inside the home and put handcuffs on him. You and your mom rush to help him but they disappear into the night leaving you without an explanation. You panic frantically, asking questions your mom can’t find the answers to. She rushes back to the kitchen to call the local authorities. A policeman picks up the phone and says indifferently that he is unable to help and they are in fact coming for you next.
We in the West harbor a naive belief that a situation like this would never happen to us, but so many others have had that same belief before. In one moment you are eating dinner with your family and the next, the authorities are at your door dragging your father out from his own home. You ask yourself, “how did this happen? What did he do wrong?”. Tears pour down your melanin-infused cheek and onto your lap. You have shed tears before, but never like this. You have cried when people assumed you as someone who is dirty, lazy, or uneducated, all because because of the color of your skin. You have cried when they called you the n-word. You have cried when some even threatened to take your life. You are crying now because they took a piece of you away, leaving you utterly helpless, and feeling as although you have no one to turned to. But then you realized that the signs were all there… you just did not acknowledge them in time.
Genocide starts with these steps: Classification, symbolization, dehumanization, organization, polarization, preparation, extermination, and lastly, denial. You might have not known that you are in the midst of a genocide–the extermination and deliberate killings of a particular group of people–but it has happened. You are being targeted for the color of your skin and you wonder to yourself, “how is this fair?”.
Nothing in the world is fair. Fair is what they describe the color of the perpetrator’s skin.