Kyle Kuzma wrote an essay for the Players’ stand in which he opens up about the racism he experienced as a biracial child growing up in Flint, Michigan, and encourages people to continue to demand change.
Kuzma’s mother is white and his father is black, and he said that as a child he found it difficult to fit in.
“I’m sure a lot of biracial kids have this kind of similar story of not being black enough for black kids and not white enough for white kids,” Kuzma wrote. “As a kid you don’t know the story behind it all. You can only really see the situation as the black community tells you, ‘You are only half of us. Whereas for the white community you are only black, or worse – you are a ***** (actually they said stuff like that on front of me when I was in high school.) “
Kuzma called the breed “something we just don’t want to talk about,” but added that this had finally changed after the murder of George Floyd, an unarmed 46-year-old black man who died after white policeman Derek Chauvin walked away. be kneeling. his neck for more than eight minutes despite his numerous calls that he couldn’t breathe in Minneapolis on May 25.
The 24-year-old explained how racism is a systemic problem and how white privilege is so much greater than the individual.
“The best analogy I’ve heard that explains white privilege is that it’s like an invisible backpack that every white person wears,” Kuzma wrote. “If you’re white and in a situation where you might need help, you can take that backpack off, open it up, and take out all kinds of bullshit. Get off the map without jail. jobs. Health allowances. Home loans. Make no mistake. Black people can get these things too, but it’s much more difficult. “
Kuzma personally saw how disproportionately economic and natural disasters hurt the black community. He grew up opposite a GM factory in Flint and witnessed the devastating fallout from the Great Recession in 2008.
“When the recession hit, it seemed like most of Flint’s residents lost their jobs – nearly 20,000 in a town of just 100,000,” he wrote. “A lot of the people who lost their jobs were black.
“… Since the recession there is really no hope there. There is no financial donation. The place where I grew up has summer to injure. Growing up in a place like Flint – or probably any small town in Central America – really shows you how race and economy go hand in hand. “
Kuzma said that after slavery, the laws put black people “in a kind of ditch that it would be difficult to get out of.” He also highlighted how the war on drugs during the presidencies of Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan targeted black people.
“Not because all drugs are great, super harmful to society, but because drugs were something so prevalent in black communities,” Kuzma wrote. This was how people put food on the table for their families in neighborhoods where people were frozen out of work. So what happened next? Let us repress ourselves. ‘Zero tolerance.’ You are a prisoner now. To have just a gram or two of weed. See the connection? This is what people talk about when they talk about racism systemic. “
Kuzma said that even though this is his third season playing for the Lakers, he still worries whenever a police officer stops him.
“If I drive and see a cop, I check my rearview mirror for the next five minutes,” he wrote. “This is the epitome of what it has done to us as black people, living in a racist society. wWe have to fear: the people who are supposed to protect us. “
Kuzma said that after Floyd’s death there had been a change among whites who were beginning to “really understand and understand” that things needed to change. He pointed out that the protests against racism and police brutality have included people of all colors, in stark contrast to the protests that followed Trayvon Martin’s death in 2012.
“If you ask me, this is the most that the United States has Actually been “united” for a long time, “Kuzma wrote.
Kuzma encouraged people to make changes by voting, adding that he was developing something to make information more accessible.
“I am launching a voting campaign that will help people know where the primaries and elections are taking place in each state this year,” he said. “I’m dropping something very soon.”
Kuzma added that this was just the start and people need to keep fighting racism.
Things can’t get back to normal in a few days. This time there must be a change.
“Shit To be different this time, ”he wrote. “For that to happen, we have to do two things at once – KEEP the noise out. Continue to protest, to walk. Continue to demand CHANGE in the STREETS. “