What Is the Price of Freedom?

March 18, 2017
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Freedom is a word that is wrongly used in this country. "This is a free country, you can do whatever you want." or "It's 2017, we're free now!" But are we really? I am faced with this question head on being an African American female in this country. There's always going to be that gap in society, and the thing is, not all gaps close. And this one, is far from it. But then comes the questions "How much would you pay for freedom?" or, "What is the price of freedom?"

There's no doubt in my mind that when the words freedom and slavery are brought up, your first thoughts are of African Americans. It's almost default. But think about it, can you really blame yourself? Those thoughts don't just pop into your head for no reason. It was nailed into our heads in school; we were, and still are, required to learn about slavery and how African Americans were wrongly treated. But we can't admit or seem to realize that the mistreatment hasn't yet come to an end. Although we aren't getting the same physical abuse, we still are treated differently.

Take my personal experiences as an example: the worst time in school is when the topic of slavery comes up. ALL EYES FALL ON ME. Or the black guy on the other side of the class that helps me add a little more variation of race to the room. All the students stare and wait for my reaction when a beating is brought up, or a racial slur is mentioned. Heck, even the teacher hesitates a bit, or tries to read over or even mumble some of the text in the reading. Or how about when it's a warm sunny day and you see a group of girls tanning in the hot sun, and they say "I hope to get like you pretty soon." Those words stick. They cause hurt and anger. But they also give me the ability to say "I told you so." I told you this gap in society will remain open. I told you the teacher will be hesitant.  I told you my classmates eyes will immediately direct to me. I told you it'll NEVER END. There will always be a limit on the world freedom.

It is crazy to reflect and realize how much of an effect something can have on a country. Especially for one that "always seems to be changing" or so they say. It should hurt or bring up a sense of compassion when someone as young as me can write with such passion and degree. Something like this can't be written in such detail without having experience! I've experienced what my ancestors have. Though it may not have been as brutal or physically painful, it still leaves the same emotional permanent scars. I wanted to doubt that racism still happened, I wanted to put it so far in my mind. But then I stepped into the real world. I actually opened my eyes, and now they can't seem to close. I want change, i want FREEDOM, but I have to be realistic. Freedom is the last thing we're gonna get.

What is the price of freedom when you have nothing to pay with? What is the price of freedom when you have no one to pay? Isn't desire enough? Isn't our cry loud? Aren't our words powerful? Why can't that be the price? Why can't we pay with that? Instead of saying "What is the price of freedom?" It should be "Will there ever be a price for freedom?" Because right now freedom is far from our grasp. It hurts me to say, but as of now, there is no price for freedom.

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