In my entire sixteen years spent on this planet, my skin color hasn’t given me much to think about. I get compliments regularly, usually something along the lines of “Wow, you’re so tan!” I’ve even had people question my ethnicity, certain that I was hispanic when I walked into Spanish three my freshman year. They thought they were putting two and two together.
I didn’t really think of the effects my race or skin color had on my life and my experiences until I got into high school. I guess that’s my privilege talking. My high school is a much more diverse place, even in comparison to Newport Beach, CA, my home town. When these conversations about race started cropping up, I felt like I couldn’t have a say. I couldn’t speak from my experience because I had never really had any.
In the past couple years, I have fully realized that race and racism was never absent from my life. It was there all along, I just couldn’t see it. So I guess this is a wake up call. For me and for you. If there’s an issue, and issue, that you think doesn’t concern you, just dig deeper. If you’re a bystander, you’re part of the problem.