The Illusion Of Inclusion
By Mariama Diallo
I believe that as a leader you can do two things: either dig people deeper into their illusions and create false hope or free them of their social standards and stereotypes to reach their fullest potential.
We are often told if you turn your frown upside down Put on the the right gown You will win that crown but when you’re black they shoot down Strip you of your gown and take your crown Then tape your lips shut so you cannot make a sound There was a time period where they didn’t want us to stand for red, white, and blue We see injustice and we kneel but they had a problem with that too But let’s get to the roots of the issue Back when I was young I couldn’t be myself Walking into stores and seeing images of everyone else on the shelf Selling us a fantasy knowing that most of us will not live to accumulate that amount of wealth Because there was a strategic system put in place Ages ago so my people would never be able to be in “your” spaces. Yet you have people talking about coming together as a human race But how can that be the case when the issues pertaining to one race are consistently overlooked Generations of people being mistreated but that somehow being justified under a holy book But forgive me for complaining about issues we face in our present day Because our ancestors went through so much more And we should instead raise our hands and thank God That at last we have made it through But I still feel guilty knowing that while I swim in these oceans of blue Beneath my feet lie the DNA and decomposed bodies of my ancestors Would they be proud to see that I am swimming happily in these same bodies of water that transported them from their homes to hell That transported them from being the kings and queens of the motherland to being treated worse than dogs Would they be proud to see that I am not fighting as hard for them as they were willing to do for me Which ultimately were the actions that set all of us free Would they be proud to claim our lack of loyalty to one another That we have become so wrapped up in consumerism that we can’t see the true value in each other We can only blame those in power for so long Because they’ve trained us to believe we are not strong Part of the reason we can’t get along But at the end of the day we must stop our carelessness and it is up to us to create the melody to our own song
Mariama is a first generation American in my western African Muslim family. She loves to watch anime, lifestyle videos and bake. A weird fact about her is she loves to clean, especially doing laundry. It calms her down for some reason.