Racism: A Personal Story & Reflection

By: Steve Joseph

This is a story of someone I know who has experienced racial injustice.  It began when my friend Jason was speaking in a different language and a White woman felt uncomfortable.  She expressed racism and said she felt unsafe and uncomfortable about Jason speaking in a different language.  This took place at a mall, where we stopped to pick up a few items before going to the pool.  We asked the woman why she was being racist, and she replied, “I don’t know if you guys are trying to plot to steal something.’  Her response blew my mind!  I asked her how she would feel if I quickly painted her as a criminal without taking a second look.  Things like this happen too often.

Similarly, the BBC NEWS article “Leed Grammar School Launches Inquiry into Racism Allegations,” reported that two Black girls were subjected to racist comments by their White classmates at their Grammar school.  The school later suspended the four White students who were being racist, but initially the two Black girl’s incident reports were not taken seriously.  The Grammar school said “they were skeptical of the inquiry.”  This demonstrates how naive and unwilling the Principal and teachers were, to recognize that racism exists.  Some might say the Black girls and my friend Jason, for example, should have ignored the student’s and white woman’s racial comments.  However, ignoring racial issues can become larger problems; for those being discriminated and the racists as well.  Unfortunately, the result can transition from verbal to physical in a matter of seconds.  The two Black girls were racially abused for the remaining of the school year, and they said it was scary going back to the environment not knowing if the school was going to help them. 

In a recent video I watched called “Nobody Born to Hate” a Black man said “People are not born to hate, they learn to hate but should be taught to love. Then the world will be at peace.”  I agree with this statement because without any hate everyone of all races will be able to unite, help and support each other, and not quickly judge their life based on their skin color.  A lot of Black people are told to get over it or be strong, but never receive help to fight racism.  This response creates fear and doubt among Black people and therefore they do not speak up.  A lot of White people don’t take racism seriously because they believe racism is not present in their city or country.  What my friend and I experienced at that mall, is similar to what the Black girls experienced in their school.  People may not have believed my friend and I experienced racism.  Racism against the Black community are not always taken seriously, and the offenders are not given the appropriate punishment.  Communities and authorities should take greater action towards these types of racists acts because it is hurting the Black community.  

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