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You got knocked down, or “Dear Brown Kids”

Dear Brown Kids,

Hey. I’m a brown kid too. Or I was. I grew up eventually.

God, this sucks, doesn’t it? It’s AAAA and GRR and WHY  when you see something bad happen to a kid who looks like you, like what happened to Ahmed in Texas. (story here) It’s even worse when you fear that you’re just one misconstrued action away from something similar happening to you.

I want to tell you something. The Thing I’m telling you is based off of this song I listen to when I’m down. It’s not a complicated song. Joey Ramone wrote it. It’s a variation on something I said to myself over and over again when I was a kid.

“I got knocked down, but I’ll get up.”

A lot of people are saying that this type of racist, hatred-driven incident can destroy you guys. That it can make you question yourself forever. That it will crush you. And you know what, that’s true. I’m not going to pretend it’s not. (And trust me, as a kid who grew up in a racist-ass desert town, I’d know). You will be different because of it. You will be forever changed. You’ll carry it with you. Sometimes, it will be the thing you remember in your worst moments.

But.

You will be stronger. You will get back up. You will prove them wrong. You will show them hope. You will show them intelligence. You will show them strength. You will be an inventor, an engineer, a doctor, a soldier. You will be a comic book editor, a parent, a writer, a lawmaker, a judge. You will be a defender of justice who actually knows what the hell justice is. You will a badass. You will be a superhero. You will rise above the people trying to drag you down. You will bust through the boxes they try to put you in. You will. YOU MUST.

I know it. I’ve seen it happen over and over and over again. Please don’t let yourself get crushed. Don’t LET them keep you down. Screw the hateful, racist fools of the world. They are nothing. They will always BE nothing. Prove them wrong. Get back up.

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