So many outside influences that would cause each and every one of you not to be here today.
I can say that I almost didn’t come out here today, I almost didn’t organize this event.
I was afraid… I was afraid of the judgment, of what other people thought about me speaking out against the blatant acts of hatred towards people of color. I felt shame in the sense that it was not the right thing to support.
That my opinion did not matter.
Then I came to the realization that these were not my own feelings, not my own thoughts. These were ideological views of some of the closest people to me, my family.
Now I was adopted by white parents at birth and growing up I was not cognizant of the color of people's skin.
I saw myself as a person, colorless.
And I mean that in the sense that my skin color has no real meaning on who I am as an Individual.
I could see how people treated my Mom and my Dad differently, then they treated me.
I could not understand why at that time. It's only in recent years that I came to the realization that racism and racial prejudice to people of color is still real here in America.
That needs to change and that starts with us!
That starts with not being afraid to speak out against what is wrong! No matter the consequences of your actions.
That means standing up against your friends, and family, your Mom or your Dad. You can’t just embody the feelings when you're out here! You have to embrace this in all aspects of your life. That means truly speaking out and standing up for this movement.
Put words into actions, show the world you mean to make the change happen!
Now antagonism comes in all shapes and sizes, it might be as blatant and predominant as being shot on the street. It can come in subtle forms, and that does not make it more acceptable.
In one of the companies, I worked at I was the best sales rep in the entire organization and my manager along with several other executives verbally assaulted me with racial slurs to the point I did not feel safe to work there.
When I first started there I thought it was because I had not proven my worth, I had earned my right to be there. So I didn't think anything of it.
I was ignorant to the fact that I did not think people were still racist.
So used the hatred that they showed me as fuel my success to become the best in the company. I thought it would end once I got to the top but it just got worse to the point they were going out of their way to get me fired!
I went home every night for months with so much frustration and confusion to the point the back of my neck would heat up in pure anger towards the situation.
I realized that I could not continue to work there any longer. So I quit! A few months later, my manager had made up so many lies about why I left that they came after me for a non compete. Which then I filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission for Harassment and Discrimination against the company and won the case.
This is why I am here today, this is why I am organizing this protest.
I want the black community to have equal opportunities for employment.
To not have to worry about whether or not he or she will be racially profiled by the police. To be treated unfairly based on skin color alone is not right! We are all here to make changes happen and I thank you for that!