Short Paper #3. My life with race
In Monday’s class you asked us to write down what we think our race and ethnicity were. On my paper I wrote down my race being (Black) American and ethnicity as African/ Native American descent. The reason I say my race is Black is because that’s the class of race they give us in America. 50 years ago the black race was called the colored people, and 50 years before that we were the Negroes. Therefore since the people that came before me who also had the same physical variations as me fought this title in American society, I will gladly and proudly represent it.
Now when I was younger race never came to my mind. I always saw people for who they were. And to me they were just well, people. People of different variations to say the least but in the end just people. It wasn’t till I reached middle school were the concept of race was really, in a sense, forced upon me. Going to an L.A.U.S.D. public school I was exposed to a lot of things at an early age. I remember girls getting pregnant when I didn’t even know what the concept of sex was, but I’m getting of topic here. In middle school the hardest class for me to attend was history and the lesson on slavery. Being one of the only two “black” kids in the class surrounded by “white” and “brown” kids made it more horrible. In my younger years my mom already took me to plenty of African American study class growing up so I knew most of my “black” history. But this never changed my mind on the concept of people. However, it just made me twitch inside and think twice about others when people would laugh when our teacher would say the word Negro or nigger in a text. Then after they would laugh, they’d look at me for like a confirmation that it was okay or something (this got me in a couple of fights). It took me a while to understand that this is just the way most people are and how they viewed others in society.
To this day I can honestly say, in my 21 years of living in this beautiful and corrupt world, that I have been through a lot. However I am glad that all of these thing have happened to me because they made the person that I am today. But I do have on phrase that gets me kind of frustrated on the inside. It goes like this. A couple of weeks ago I was heading to class. Before I went to class I stopped at the cafeteria where I saw my friend Natalie. She and I left the cafeteria at the same time however, for some odd reason she chose to go the long way instead of cutting across the quad. Therefore when she got to the class I was already in my seat because the rout she chose took almost twice the time it would have took me. So when she sees me in my seat she says, “Wow Andrew you got here so fast, it’s because you’re black”… Just let that sink in… What does that even mean?!? Because you chose the longer rout and I chose the shorter rout, then me arriving in class before you did is a racial difference??? This phrase, “It’s because you’re black” Is the reason why I know there is slight racism on this campus. When I stop hearing people say this stupid ignorant phrase around school and just in general, then I’ll know that society is changing for the better.