My pissed-off letter to the rioters

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Nelson Simmons

Dear Rioters:

I don’t think I’ve ever been this angry in my life. You say that you want racial equality, but you give many reasons for people to be racist. Rioting isn’t going to fix anything. It’s only going to make people more racist than they already are! You can’t riot, loot stores, and burn police stations then expect people to view Blacks as a whole to seem more innocent. I’m pissed off!

I know African Americans have had it hard, but we have to channel our anger and frustration in a different way, if we want others to realize and appreciate a change in our attitudes and behavior.

When you wake up one morning and your local Jewel Osco, Family Dollar, GameStop, Walmart, Chase Bank, CVS, Walgreens or Burger King is closed down, I just want you to remember that was you who caused it.

At the end of all this, none of your rioting or looting will matter. We still won’t have racial equality.

Now, I believe that Black Lives Matter, but we have to show that we believe this in a peaceful and calm way. My parents said that even though truly racist people don’t care what “group” I’m from, the main thing I can do is to change the way I am perceived. In order for this to happen, I have to walk, speak, dress, and even educate myself differently than that “other” group with brown skin.

But, what about the white lady who sees me the same as that “other” group.

I don’t want to have to worry about a police officer who doesn’t know the difference. I don’t want a knee on my neck because he sees me the same as them! I don’t understand how I can be this incensed at a group of people I identify this much with.

I don’t know how I can say this after what I just said. I’m not ashamed of being Black. I’m not. Black is beautiful. We can change the way in which people identify us, but we have to do it in a peaceful, positive, and noticeable way in order to be beautifully Black.

Nelson Simmons

Nelson Simmons recently completed 7th grade. He is a member of several school organizations and the soccer team. He is also an honor-roll student. Nelson began competing in PUSH EXCEL Oratorical Competitions at the age of six and he has won several top-place titles. He has also been afforded many opportunities to speak at high profile city events. He is an actor with roles in Goodman Theatre’s “A Christmas Carol,” the Chicago Children’s Theater production of “The Watsons Go To Birmingham-1963” and he played Travis in “A Raisin In The Sun” by Invictus Theater Company.

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