A long time ago, I made a promise to myself. I promised myself that I would never lie to myself. To me, that means I will never say that I agree with something that I know in my bones isn’t true. This also means that I will not let myself be labeled as something I’m not. If someone tries to pin a name on me, I will rip it off.
For me, this week wasn’t about being labeled as part of a group. It was about me using my voice to speak up for what I believe and how I live. To some me people, my life might look “privileged,”but everything I have in my life I have earned through buckling down, working hard, skipping sleep, and forgoing a lot of things I wanted to do in order to do the things I needed to do to reach my goals.
Being part of this class is a prime example. I didn’t have to choose to go to graduate school. I was doing well in my career and moving up. That being said, I decided that in order to keep progressing, I needed to learn more. Hence, applying for school and enrolling in this class.
There’s a lot that needs to be fixed in our society. Sometimes I feel like we spend so much time looking back and apportioning blame and accusation that the idea of working towards a solution together gets lost. Whether it’s Black, White, Hispanic, Asian, Eccentric, Abnormal or whatever, all these labels seem to do is create distance and separate groups that struggle to interact because they’re told their “too different” to get along.
That being said, this week was challenging. It was tough defending my beliefs in our annotations, disagreeing with my peers, and posting opinions that I know people would agree with. It was tough telling my story of growing up without a lot of money but I’m not ashamed of it. Looking back, I know I probably was a lot more defensive than I should have been, but I absolutely do not accept that simply because of the color of my skin that I have had an unfair advantage over anyone else.
It may sound naive, but this week has inspired me to start giving up labels. Colors aren’t supposed matter so why keep talking about them. If I don’t want people to assume things about me because of an arbitrary label then I need to stop using them.
I know my opinions are not politically correct but I don’t care about that anymore. I want to work on being emotionally correct. I want to use my voice, as quiet as it as when it speaks alone, to speak my truth.