We've had a long history together. We entered the world in unison some 28 years ago, where you were faint and barely visible. I soon realized that we were members of a family where your cousins were also present in varying amounts. As we grew older together, you made your visibility as a friend more pronounced.
While I was too young in the beginning to understand the implications of our long-term friendship, I always knew that we both stood for something in life: Understanding. I know that your presence means no harm to my life. In fact, you are probably my best friend in the Summer, because you protect me from the Sun. You're always there to shield me against the harmful UV rays radiating through space and our atmosphere.
Unfortunately, Melanin, you don't shield me from ignorance. Why not? If you can protect me from the harshest element of life, why not people? You always seem to attract these outlandish assumptions to our friendship. You often even give me a bad name, and as much as I wish you didn't, there never seems to be anything I can do about it.
Why do you attract people who think badly of us? Why do you attract women who've dated nothing but gang bangers and thugs? Why do you attract women who speak poor English? Or those with babies? Why does your presence always seem to come with so many liabilities? Again, I know you mean no harm, but why?
Why do you keep certain people that I want to meet at bay, Melanin? Sure, I keep my distance at times from people, too, but only because I know those people aren't good for us. You see, I've always wanted the best for us. Always. But, for whatever reason, many people always seem to have an issue with our friendship. Why?
Is it fair, Melanin, that I should suffer in life because of my friendship with you? Why can't people take the time to learn about us and who we are? Why do they assume our friendship is something bad and harmful? We've never done any harm to anyone. We've always done our very best. We've always been very accommodating and welcoming.
Still, Melanin, you sometimes give us a bad name and for no apparent reason at all. You've always been my most protective friend. I wish everyone else could see the same.