I have been told how dangerous being in the sun is by my white friends. How it will burn their skin, and how they have to take all these precautions when they are exposed to the sun. From the time they were kids they were warned about the dangers of sun exposure. They will go as far as changing the clothes they wear, and for some they fear being exposed to the sun at all.

How weird.

The sun doesn't hurt me, and never has. When I plan on going out, I never once bother to think about the sun. I can be exposed to the sun for hours. I have gotten darker when I've been exposed to the sun, but I've never been afraid or overly cautious of it. I hear people telling me about sun burns, but, I don't get burned...the sun can not really be all that bad?

I've heard stories on the news about the dangers of sun burns, and I've seen data recording the dangers of the sun exposure. You can't believe everything you hear on TV. It'd do folks some good to be grateful for all the good the sun does. Its so silly how scared white people are of their kids being exposed to the sun. Teaching their kids to be cautious of it, prevent burns or worse. They are being ridiculous, because my kid is fine when he's exposed to it.

How can I believe you when you tell me what the sun does to you? I've seen sunburns, but they can't really hurt that bad or people would never go outside. I'm pretty sure we can all agree we need the sun don't we? My friends that say they hate the sun are taking it too far. Plus, explain to me, how I have white friends that have never burned? Ya know, I think some people are exaggerating this whole "sun exposure is dangerous" thing. You can tell me about painful and negative experiences that your family and friends have had in the sun, but I just can't believe you. You really should just get over it.

Is it something white people are doing to make your experiences in the sun so painful and dangerous? If you taught your kids how to act they wouldn't get sunburned. Campaigning for protection and safety when exposed to the sun seems unnecessary. I think sunblock is a waste. Just people being ungrateful to the sun.

Is it making you angry, frustrated, or annoyed that I am refusing to validate your experience or denying it's a reality all together? I have a privilege that you simply do not have. In this scenario do I get to explain what it is like to you, when I really haven't known what you face on a regular basis? I can ignore the dangers and reality you face, because its not my own. Its easy, because its never been a problem for me. Your experiences with the sun have shaped your opinion. Some of you have never even gotten a sun burn, but you know that it could happen, and you don't want it to. Huh. Weird.

Is it so ridiculous that you and your children want to feel just as safe as me and my child do when we're out in the sun? Was it strange how far I was willing to go to deny and invalidate your experience with the sun? Maybe I should take the time to look around, or even listen? Maybe I wouldn't ignore it if it was a danger to me and my family? Maybe instead of getting annoyed at how cautious you are, I could respect that your experiences have made you feel this way.

This is what black people are trying to explain to you. There is a danger. It is real. It is scary. We don't feel safe. We want to feel safe. Listen to us when we are telling you about our experience. There is a reason why the NAACP, and other organizations exist. The reality is different for me, here in this country as a person of color. Stop refusing to acknowledge that these fears, and dangers exist.
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