As an American and a person of color, I am shocked and saddened by the words and actions of those who discriminate against and commit violence people of color. So, I would like to share my personal story and add my voice in support of those who are taking a stand for equality and justice in this country.
I arrived in America as a student in 2007. I was filled with hope and optimism as I wholeheartedly believed this country offered freedom and opportunity to those willing to work hard and adopt the principles and values articulated in the Constitution. I thoroughly believed in the American Dream.
While many wonderful opportunities did present themselves, there were also encounters in the mundane activities of every-day life with people who did not share American values, my belief in equality and serving the greater good. The most disturbing occurrence happened recently. I was accused of being a fraud, harassed and threatened for posting a job opportunity on a job site for veterans. The group of individuals who made the accusations made it clear they believed I could not be an American because I was not white. Even though their claims were false, they were able to have me banned from that website. Their other threats and intimidation tactics were not successful because their claims were baseless, but it stung to be the target of such blatant racism.
Once, when I was interviewing for a job after graduation, a recruiter asked me if I flew around on a magic carpet, a troubling reference to an infantile and denigrating view of my native culture. Another time, I went to the DMV and was asked to provide multiple documents that were not required by the State. Bewildered, I went to another DMV, where the staff included people of color, and was processed without incident.
I am now a person of color, and founder and CEO of Active Victim a business dedicated to saving American lives irrespective of color. In spite of all the painful encounters, I’m proud to say our company treats all citizens as Americans regardless color.
Racism and equality are now front and center in our society. We stand with those who believe in equality and justice. We stand against all violence especially the violence that took the lives of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and so many more men and women of color who should still be with us today.
My hope is we will unite as a people and a nation behind the principles of equal justice for all and our right as people to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.