Dominic Smith pens personal note on systemic racism: 'Silence kills'
New York Mets first baseman Dominic Smith posted a personal letter on Twitter on Sunday afternoon, detailing his encounters with the ills of systemic racism. Speaking from his own experiences, Smith wrote about what he's faced as a black man in America and in baseball.
"As a black man in America, you encounter racism on every level," he wrote. "Your parents prep you for it. They prep you for routine police stops. They prep you on how to talk to people with respect. When you have one strike against you (your skin color), you have to make the people you come across like you, and you do it with respect, with a smile, with love.
"I didn't understand it as a kid. I went to predominantly black schools my whole life, so when I got into the real world, it hit me. I saw how we were oppressed firsthand. Whether it's education, job opportunities, healthcare, mass incarceration, social programs, financial hardship, and more. I saw how I wasn't equal and treated unfairly because of my skin color."
Smith also highlighted the names of several black people who have been the victims of police violence, including George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and Breonna Taylor.
He added that it's a duty for people to speak up when they witness injustice.
"The system has been killing African-Americans and minorities for hundreds of years, and enough is enough!" he said. "I don't want to fear being stopped by a police officer or looked down (on) because of my skin color! It shouldn't have taken the death of so many innocent men and women for the world to take notice. And if we didn't have social media or smartphones, how many more innocent lives would we have lost?