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Patterson: “Our voices combined are our greatest superpower”

As we endure incredibly agonizing times for millions of Americans, The Hoosier Network is providing IU athletes with an opportunity to have their voices be heard.

Danielle Patterson is a redshirt junior on Indiana’s women’s basketball team, who becomes eligible this year. A sports media student at IU, she currently hosts the “Social at a Distance” podcast.

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We need to talk.

And we need to do it right now…

This year has been so uncomfortable, so challenging, so scary, and at many times we have been met with several uncertainties when faced with the road ahead of us. Back in March we started fighting one virus but who knew months later we would be fighting yet another one: Racism on our home front. The only difference between this virus and all other viruses out there is that this one has plagued and threatened our society longer than any other virus on the planet.

I wish there was a magic pill we could take or an injection we could give to rid the nation of injustice, the ugly truth, and the nastiness that has taken the lives of so many Black men, women and children that have helped to build up, structure and mold our nation, dating back to when Black people were trying to find a new identify against so many unknowns.

Clearly it does not work like that and we can’t erase the problem like it’s the common cold — here one day and gone the next.

There is no magic fix.

We have been continuously asked to turn our backs, act like nothing is happening and to simply stick to the status quo because that way we won’t cause too much controversy. Stay quiet, sit back and take the madness.

Well, that’s over.

Call us mad, call us angry, destructive — whatever you please. But we have come to the point once again where we have learned that our VOICES combined are our greatest superpower.

Athletics teaches you a lot, but above all, it teaches you to have a voice and create change when it is most needed. You think having a platform is hard? Try not having one. Try not having a voice at all. As a Black student athlete and a Black woman, period, I can’t afford to stay quiet anymore because the truth is it could happen to my own father, or even my own cousins. To be honest it could even happen to me…

I’m willing to do anything possible to make sure no more of my brothers and sisters become a statistic, a hashtag or an Instagram post. I ask you to do the same regardless of what color you may be.

This is no longer a Black and White issue. This is an issue of humanity. This is us asking you to please SEE our beautiful color and then acknowledge it and respect all that comes with it. My color was given to me by a perfect God and he created it. If he doesn’t have a problem with it, why should you? I pray that you do not choose to stay complicit by staying quiet.

I am a 20-year-old Black woman living in America and I feel like it is time for us to start writing a new narrative in the history books. A story where people with Black and Brown skin can feel comfortable in the America that they call home, a story where it isn’t a crime to go to the store and buy some Skittles, a story where we can look in the mirror and feel like we belong.

Gianna Floyd, your daddy did the change the world and I know you may never read this but so many people are right behind him trying to change it for so many more.

Black Lives Matter isn’t just a moment, it’s a continuous one.

2020 is by no means cancelled. In fact, it’s screaming right in our faces, awakening us to our own deep-rooted systematic oppression. I hope to meet you all on the other side of injustice and inequality, because I’m committed to this fight for the long-haul; I hope and pray you are too.

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