I have a question for you all today, am I covered? do you think my body is well covered by my traditional dress? well, I believe so. Imagine being covered by small pieces of paper that have a written label on it that stacks up to cover you more than I am currently covered. And then imagine these labels being what your society defined you to be or who you are, then again imagine that all the labels are negative labels. Labels are destroying our society, and that is why I chose this topic today.
See I have lived my life labeled more than I am covered by the traditional Muslim dress called the abaya. Label, label, and label after labels I find myself drifting away as I'm not able to define who I am in the society I live in rather I am defined and told who I am and what I am capable of by people who don’t know me. I’m sick of reacting, I’m sick of apologizing, I’m sick of going online every day having to define myself by what I'm not and not by what I am.
I am more than just labels, I'm like everyone else, who have feelings, thoughts, and beliefs, I’m a human. Yet in today's society, I don’t feel like I am a human, I don’t feel like I belong to the human race. ---What makes me unique, what my mother told me makes me amazing is what is being used to label me. To label me as black, ghetto, weak, and the list goes on. Since I was young, I have believed and come to terms that this is life and this is how life is going to be, blinding myself to the truth accepting the labels put upon me and letting my society define me. Well, today that young girl is gone, my eyes are open then they have ever been to the truth.
Well you see i’m not black , ghetto, weak, I mean that's what the world calls me but it's not me. As Richard Williams, better known by his stage name prince EA once said I didn't come out of my mother's wound saying “ hey everybody I'm black”. No, I was taught to be black. And you were taught to call me that along with whatever you call yourself, is just a label. See from birth the world force feeds as these labels that we eventually swallow, digest and accept. Never ever doubting them.But there's one problem, labels are not you and labels are not me. Labels are just labels. Who we truly are is not skin deep.
Listen I am not here to tell you how scientists concluded how we are genetically mixed and race in the human species doesn't exist or how every historian knows that race was invented in the 15th century to divide people from each other and it has worked perfectly. No, I'm not here to lecture. I just want to ask one question. Who would you be if the world never gave you a label or a box to check? Would you be White, Black, Mexican, Asian?. No, we will be one, we will be together. No longer living in an era of calling human beings Black people or white people. These labels that will forever blind us from seeing a person for who they are, but instead see them through their judgemental, prejudicial, artificial filters of who we think they are. And when you let an artificial label define you, then my friend, you have chosen smallness over greatness and minimized yourself confined and divided you from others and it's an undeniable fact that where there is the division there will be conflict. conflict starts wars, therefore every war started over labels, it's always us versus them. So the answer to war, racism, sexism and every other “ism” is so simple that every politician has missed it.
It's the labels. We must rip them off. Isn't funny how no baby is born racist, and ever baby cries when they hear the cry of another no matter their gender, culture, or color proven that deep down we were meant to connect and care for each other.
That is our mission.In a world that sold us fiction please listen, labels only destroy our vision. Human beings were not meant to be slapped with labels like groceries. These labels are our shell and we need to break through them. I am Nadia Issa and I am neither black, ghetto, nor weak and I will never let a label define me.