#BlackLivesMatter

Les

 

 

"After learning that our life was at stake, we fled to the UK with the hope to better our future and to have the freedom of speech. Unfortunately, the promise of betterment was short-lived as racism and discrimination followed us here too..."

 

I have always had a sonorous voice. I have never been afraid to speak my mind nor hold my tongue when I've seen something despicably wrong. Although I cannot speak on behalf of anyone else, I have never held a racist view nor have I sought to look for negatives in people simply due to the colour of their skin or their beliefs or their cultures. But now I struggle to sleep in a world where the colour of your skin (amongst many other things) is a reason for oppression, mistreatment and injustice.

 

I spent most of my youth in the Middle East, which meant I was not only bullied for having darker skin than others (believe it or not, in those countries fairer skin is regarded beautiful and darker complexions are essentially outcasts) but also for being born a Roman Catholic. Although many people cannot fathom this, I have been held at gunpoint and told to stop practising Catholicism and convert my beliefs/religion. I know oppression all too well.

 

After learning that our life was at stake, we fled to the UK with the hope to better our future and to have the freedom of speech. Unfortunately, the promise of betterment was short-lived as racism and discrimination followed us here too - especially in school. The abundance of cultural misappropriation in society still leaves me shocked to this day. I know mistreatment all too well.

 

Still to this day, people put me in a stereotype bucket and, you know what, it hurts. I know the people who judged me based on my skin colour/religion/culture will never speak up. I know they won't even look me in the eye now. But please I urge you, with the utmost respect, do not judge me or any other PERSON based on the above. Do not mistreat any PERSON because they are different from you.

 

Yes, I am a minority. And I'm proud of where I come from. At the end of the day, I am a PERSON too. And I know injustice all too well.

 

My question to you: can you truly comprehend what being 'different' feels like?

 

 

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