Don’t Fight Racism, with Racism

I live in a predominantly Caucasian town. There’s not many African Americans, Hispanics, nor Asians. It’s a small town where everyone knows everyone, well at least they think they do.

For those of you that may not know, much of the KKK resided here in Indiana. Although it is now 2012, racism still exists. It’s very sad, but true. Today, my friends and I were in the lunch line when a boy, whom I already knew didn’t like African Americans, was making comments about how much better “white” rice was than fried rice, just because it’s “brown”. He also said that as a child, he always thought the “white power rangers” were better than the black ones.

Although racism is something that no one should ever have to get used to, it does still exist. I’ve learned to expect it, at least here in my little town. I once went to the mall with a friend and we were in a teddy bear store when 3 Caucasian teens walked in. They gave us the nastiest looks, then one of them pointed to a monkey and said, “This is what black people look like.” Again, all 3 of the girls turned to look at us. Another girl in one of my classes has made a few racist comments such as “All black people are dogs”. Someone has even taken it so far as to tell me, “Shut the f*ck up you f*cking nigger!”

I’m not saying all of this to discourage anyone, nor to throw my little town under the bus. I’m just saying that racism is still very much alive. I once said that I had been discriminated against 7 times in the last 3 months, that was in January and it is now March. I have to say that the worst experience that I have had was when a Caucasian woman sprayed me with her water hose, yelling at me to stay away from her house. I was about 12 or 13 and I was on the sidewalk. I had never felt so disrespected and unwanted in my life.

What made that instance even worse is the fact that it took me back to the 1960s, the time of the Civil Rights Movement. Firefighters used water hoses to try to get rid of the African Americans that were gathered in the area. African Americans, as well as Hispanics, Native, and Asian Americans, have come so far throughout history, yet she took me back to that time…with water. It makes me wonder how much America has really changed.

I’m going to use this opportunity to speak out about the Trayvon Martin case. Four weeks ago, a 17 year old boy was murdered because he looked “suspicious”. He was carrying nothing but skittles and iced tea, yet because he had on a hoody, he looked “suspicious”. He was screaming and running for his life, but because he was a young African American boy in a wealthy neighborhood, he looked “suspicious”. And while he was in the hospital for 24 hours as a John Doe because even the police didn’t want to believe that he lived in the neighborhood, his killer (who was the self-appointed neighborhood watchman) gets to walk free because this innocent 17 year old boy looked “suspicious”. What’s so “suspicious” about skittles and iced tea? Was he going to try to make George Zimmerman taste the rainbow? Trayvon Martin deserves justice.

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I’ve been seen as a minority all of my life, but I’ve always seen myself as equal. My point is never fight racism, with racism. It does nothing but make matters worse. The person only becomes more racist. They are not going to change their mind just because you reply with racism. You will do nothing but reinforce their already ignorant perception of you. Whatever the situation, there are other solutions. Find someone that can help.

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About Sierra

I'm an accounting major at Texas State University with a passion for all things international. I'm going to learn Russian, Portuguese, Italian, and possibly German one day. I've been speaking Spanish for 8 years and my dream is to one day travel across Latin America. DREAM Act 2015!

Posted on March 29, 2012, in Entertainment, International and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

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