It’s exciting and humbling to realize you’re in good company, that people around you are strong and insightful and awesome.
I’ve had that experience now twice this week with classmates from high school.
The following passage was shared by Ms. Hala Teixeira via social media recently in response to recent events and protests against racism and police brutality.
Hala’s words ring true. They are powerful. Another valuable perspective that needs to be shared.
“I have been pretty silent with my posts the past couple weeks and part of that is because I worry about what the right thing is to say. I’m so shocked at the things that have happened and amazed at how many people are speaking out and being examples for change. I am proud of my daughters who have been sharing information and trying to educate and bring to light all the unjust things going on in our country.
Im proud to be working for a great company that has been supporting everyone and are recognizing the issues and addressing them. We had a call today with over 200 people where it was an open forum to talk about a how we felt and our experiences. Even though only about 10% of the people spoke, their stories and experiences were very powerful to me. It helped me put into perspective what is happening and why we need to speak up.
One thing I realized is that many people have examples of a time that something happened to you that seemed racist, or you got scared of a situation with a police officer or something happened to you where you felt discriminated or profiled.
I even have a couple examples in my 50+years, like feeling racism when I say I am Arab…growing up I heard jokes about having a camel in my backyard or oil wells or asking if my parents dress a certain way and of course mocking the accent (I was born in the US and didn’t have an accent btw). I hesitated to say I’m Palestinian especially when I was younger because I felt an even stronger stereotype than if I just said I’m Arab or Lebaneese.
I have felt fear when I was pulled over for speeding or driving in the car pool lane…its scary but not necessarily because I was afraid for what the cop would do to me but more because I was caught doing something I was not supposed to be doing. Kinda like the feeling when your parent gets mad at you for doing something wrong. I have felt fear when police came to our house because someone driving by said Eddy and his little pickup matched a guy that stole beer from the 7-11. They questioned him at the front door and asked if we had beer inside and he said we did because we were having a birthday party for our daughter that weekend…they questioned why we needed beer at a kids birthday. Fortunately they left and nothing further happened with that but that is something I will never forget. What if…
All these examples are so real to me but I realize that they are just a couple things I have faced in my lifetime. I can’t imagine having these feelings all the time. I dont live fearful for what might happen to me everyday but when I hear and see stories where someone is pulled over and is pulled out of their car and mistreated or someone stops and questions you because you look like someone or racially discriminated against…It just makes me so sad. People deal with this on a daily basis for no reason. It’s awful, it’s not fair, its not right and things need to change.
We all have experiences that scare us but when you dont face them daily, or face fear daily then you are privileged. Everyone deserves this priviledge.
Educate yourself, help where you can, donate, support, speak up and educate others and dont be scared to voice how you feel. Always show love to anyone you encounter. Everyone deserves respect.
This is the only way things will change.
Yes, Hala, YES.
Let’s those insights sink in. Let them resonate. Let them light the fire within you to stand up. Elevate the voices long silent. Too long silent.
CHANGE IS NEEDED.