Y'all, We Need to Talk by Andrew
31 Aug 2017 9:00 AM
I haven’t been known to bring too much attention toward racial tension or discrimination that occurs on-campus. Now, I don’t have a blind eye toward them, I know that they exist and that they’re a real problem, but I don’t often talk about them.
Recently, I’ve felt as if there is a vast amount of people who believe that issues involving race and gender don’t exist here and that people who point out occurrences are just looking for attention or playing victim, this includes some fellow multicultural people. They don’t seem to understand that people of color and women are disrespected or discriminated against on a daily basis and it comes in different forms.
Now, I hear some of you thinking, “Ok, these things can’t be happening EVERY day,” but unfortunately yes it can and I know that for a fact because I recorded these occurrences over the last week.
Here’s a look into my life. Ready?
Sunday, August 20th
- 8:47PM I bring up the idea that one of my friends’ wants to throw a party in our apartment to one of my roommates. In response, my roommate’s girlfriend says “It’s gonna be full of black people,” in a tone of disgust and with a look of worry. Then proceeds to say “Not in like a bad way.”
Monday, August 21st
- 10:53AM While walking into Ross Building and turning down the volume on my speaker, I overhear someone behind me say to their friend “Not everybody wants to hear your people’s music.”
- 1:00PM Spoke with Multicultural Student Affairs staff about the presence of painted swastikas on the walls of my friend's floor.
Tuesday, August 22nd
- 7:42AM I gear up to say “good morning” to someone while walking by and they glance up, look me DEAD IN MY FACE, and immediately look away.
- 9:21AM I am glared at before cutting off my music and going into my apartment building.
- 2:01PM Person noticeably speeds up to walk past me while I wait to cross the street. Like, come on now.
Wednesday August 23rd
- 12:06PM While standing in line at Friley Windows, I overhear someone in front of me refer to a person they were talking to their friend about as black then witness them both turn around, look directly at me, turn back, and say nothing else until they determined that they were a good enough distance away from me to finish the conversation.
Thursday, August 24th
- 2:31PM Student makes a comment remarking the “inaccuracy” of an example in which a woman had a higher salary than a man stating “we know why this is just an example” [I understand that this comment doesn’t have anything to do with me, as someone who identifies as male, but that doesn’t mean I should ignore it. If we ignore any instance of discrimination simply because it doesn’t apply to us then it allows the ignorance to grow by making people think they can say demeaning things when certain groups of people aren’t around.]
Friday, August 25th
- Nothing happened on Friday so I suppose you've got me there, reader. I got a day off.
These may not be large-scale occurrences.
No one swung at me or threw racial slurs my way. There weren’t any rallies or acts of violence either, however, that doesn’t mean we can simply ignore them. I didn’t go out and search for these events or try to provoke anyone, this is simply what happens when you pay attention to the way people react to you.
Some people don’t think what they’re doing or saying is harmful and people affected don’t want to seem as if they’re overreacting, but if we don’t correct these smaller problems, the larger issues keep getting bigger.
Note from the MSA Staff for administrators and faculty reading this: Here is a guide to avoiding microaggressions in your classrooms.