Arizona Teen Says She Learned A Lot About America From Wearing A Black Lives Matter Shirt To School

"People all across our country witness this everyday just because of the color of their skin and that is NOT okay."

Angela Castillo, a teenager from Phoenix, Arizona, wore a Black Lives Matter shirt to school on August 16 as a way to show her solidarity with the Nlack community in the wake of the deadly events in Charlottesville and mounting racial tension across the country.

However, as Castillo soon discovered, not everyone appreciated her public display of support for a community that is not her own. In a lengthy Facebook post that has been shared over 70,000 times, the teen detailed the subtle (and not-so-subtle)  remarks she received from others all because of a pointed sartorial choice.

In her post, Castillo recounts five incidents that occurred over the course of one school day during which she wore the BLM shirt. "A boy in my history class proceeded to tell me that black lives matter is a waste of time, all lives matter, and that black people just want to point the finger at someone and blame racism for everything," she writes, adding, "Two boys told me that my shirt is dumb and that i shouldn't be wearing it because I'm 'not even black.'"

And the negative feedback Castillo got because of her shirt wasn't just from other students, but from adults as well. "A lady told me that if I wore the shirt again I would be dress coded," she wrote. 

Unfortunately the responses Castillo received was just the tip of the iceberg, as it also became clear that many students were grossly misinformed or unaware of the true purpose of the Black Lives Matter movement — to express the "validity of black life."

Lastly, the teen also recalled how one student admonished her for wearing the'BLM shirt because it "conveys a message of violence," while another classmate "told me that black people are over dramatic and my shirt therefore is dramatic too."

However, it's important to note that not all of the feedback Castillo received was negative. "Thank you for this," an African-American man wrote in the Facebook comments. "Not a lot of people would be able to support this cause let alone make this sacrifice continue to stand up."

Though there's certainly no equating Castillo's limited experience with what may people of color subjected to on a daily basis, the responses to her choice in shirt are important.

Thankfully, the Phoenix native is well aware of her own privilege in this scenario, and she knows how imperative it is for her and others like her to speak out when they see racial injustice at work. "Wearing this shirt taught me a lot. The school shows a sense of ignorance present today in so many Americans. I witnessed people looking at me differently, and judgmentally for one day because of a simple shirt," she wrote. "People all across our country witness this everyday just because of the color of their skin and that is NOT okay."

"This problem is all around us, and it's time we start realizing that and standing up for everyone's rights as American citizens," Castillo concludes. "It's time to put a stop to the hate and discrimination."

A Plus reached out to Angela Castillo for comment.


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