How is it that the second I open my mouth, you place me in your box?
and no, I don’t mean the “Muslim box”..that’s obvious.
I mean the “You look white, but something’s different about you” box..
the “Are you from the country, or did you just get hit in the head too many times?” box.
Maybe it’s before I even open my mouth, in a futile attempt to somehow get a point across in a way that will not be received through a filter
a filter of preconceptions of what you think I am..
No, maybe it’s the just the way I carry myself. It may not be words at all..
Maybe you see the constant strained look on my face that I call a “determined stare”, but you call a frown.
Truth is I’m not angry, I’m really just deep in thought.
Maybe you see that at 23 years of age I already have a nice collection of scowl lines and scars etched into my face.
You must be thinking,”This young man must have grown up OVER THERE, in one of those tv shows I saw on Lifetime while I was nice and cozy inside my gated community wondering what that life would be like for one day.”
Or maybe you see the skin on my knuckles, which will forever tell on itself for having punched everything from brick to glass to teeth.
Perhaps you think I’m violent, or maybe just underclass. “A product of my environment”.
The truth is you’ll never know.
You create a barrier, a barrier you will never learn to see past.
And in the end I’m really not complex. I am just a man. A man like any other, trying to live this thing called life and fill the shoes of the man who made him, a man he never knew. And that’s what my challenge is.