At the risk of too much disclosure, there is a story that must be told. I work at a private, majority white university in the south. Most private schools are pretty high on the socio-economic ladder. I happen to be at a school where the students who are, know it, and don't mind in their own little way letting their counterparts know it. Twenty year olds drive $50,000 vehicles and have no job.
I recently received a phone call about a student who found out in a rather uncomfortable way that her roommate did not want to live with her anymore. My student is black and from the state, the roommate is white and not from the south. My student wanted to know why. What happened and why didn't she say anything before now? The resident assistant let the student know that it was because of "cultural differences and family differences" that she didn't want to live with her anymore.
Even as i write this, i have to take deep breaths and slow my heart to a reasonable rate. I am the only black in my office. I am one of two blacks on my floor and three in the whole building of about 100+ people. If that gives you any ideas as to the demographics of the school, let me make it a little more plain. There are 14 black faculty members out of a little over 800 on campus. Getting the picture?
My coworkers (a few of them) want to say that "cultural differences" do not mean that this girl did not want to live with a black person, but that they were just different. Well, then, why wouldn't she just say that instead of using the word culture? She said what she meant and she meant what she said.
I'm sick and tired of people thinking that just because we aren't hanging from trees and having to use separate bathrooms that everything is ok. They think that we are always playing the "race card" and make everything out to be more than it is. This could not be more blatant to a person of color.....Could it?
Today we are faced with quiet bigotry. It is so much harder to fight than out right bigotry. I know that when Dr. King made his famous speech, he wanted what we have but not what comes with it.
Everything is so overt now and can be easily explained away by someone who is not of color. My skin color means that i will have to fight this fight for the rest of my life, no matter who ends up in the white house.
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3 years ago