- Posted August 16, 2013 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Everyday racism: Your stories
Black and educated in america
This story is part of CNN iReport’s Everyday Racism project, an effort to shine light on and spark discussion about racism in today’s world. Please note that CNN cannot independently verify the events described in this post.
- Jamescia, CNN iReport producer
I grew up all over because my step father was in the air force. I went to 99% white suburban schools but unfortunately for me i switched schools as often as other people change socks. This didnt make being the new kid any easier because i was often the only black face in school. Every year some other kid would challenge me in a fight (its nature isuppose for kids to figure out the pecking order through fighting) and every year i would prove that messing with the quiet book smart new kid was a bad mistake. I won those fights. The worst one i got into was in the 5th grade when 3 kids tried to jump me. I beat all three of them senseless and after the fight my teacher took me aside and told me that though i didnt start the fight, I would always be blamed for it and be the one to suffer because I was black. The teacher was white. The school district was poughkeepsie New York and that was my first run in with racism. I came in second in my class for academics and won a dictionary (which was the best gift for me cause i loved to read) but in actuality I had the best GPA in the class. So how come i came in second? cause the racist school couldnt stand to give a black boy the 500.00 first prize. My second run in (same school disctrict) with racism. My next run in was in the 7th grade with a kid who claimed his father would put the KKK on me. But lets not focus totally on my childhood except to say that the Black kids also treated me poorly because I spoke proper english (reflected from the fact that I went to good schools). So i suffered reverse racism from blacks as well as regular racism from whites. cant count the number of girls who wouldnt date me cause daddy wouldnt approve. How about the southern boy who I had to call out when i was in basic training in the air force because he couldnt stand to follow a black man in the unit? The racist master sergeant who lied about me to my boss because he didnt like that my job required me to work at a desk and he couldnt stand to see a black man not performing manual labor. Oh and my personal favorite being told that a white person is acting nasty towards me but its "not because you are black" been told that a couple of times. So you want stories I got a ton of them. Yes standing in the rain waiting for a bus with a suit on and having people lock their doors as they pull up in front of you. I lock my doors now in front of white folk just to see how they like it. Really its pathetic how deep seeded racism is. I went to a club and there was this chicks purse on the OTHER end of the bar. She ran across the bar to get it as soon as she saw me and I was more than 10 feet away from the thing. bad looks when I am out on a date with a white woman. it goes on and on.
So yes I have been the victim of racism. My last and most impacting story comes from my college days while earning my master's degree. I was in an elevator when a younger black kid turns to me as asks me if I like dressing like a white person. I stood there shocked because that was the DUMBEST question I have ever heard but the white woman standing besides me LOVED it and broke down laughing her tail off. So why was it funny? This took place in Miami. Course Whites arent the only ones who can be racist. I speak fluent spanish because I have a memory that recalls everything i read and hear. I went there to find a job while going through grad school and at a marriott I came across my first Cuban racist. I spoke to him in spanish and I know he understood me but he was so pissed that this black guy was speaking spanish he says to me we speak english not chinese here. Really pal. Seriously. OK. Yes this country is filled with racist folks. not all blatantly obvious but its there and i see it more than i care to.
I grew up listening to my mother curse white people. I like other children had to learn the hard way that the bitterness carried by adults comes from experience. I have my own share of bitterness for the racism I have encountered YET for all that I am not a racist. I sometimes say things to shock people into realizing how racist they sound. I myself prefer to date white women and currently am dating a jewish woman. I have always considered myself a Terran, citizen of mother earth not an "American" while traveling abroad i have found that many people outside this country think blacks in this country couldnt possibly be educated, speak several languages and not be drug dealers. sad but true. I have been told by others that I must be jamacan or from the islands or have some latin blood in me because my spanish is so good. I often tell them the truth NO I am a BLACK man from filthydelfia (my name for philadelphia, pa). I am a patriot. I served my country honorably and I have put up with more crap from the people i helped to defend than i ever should have. I have more reason to hate this country than anyone has a right to. I use the moniker ANGRYBLACKMAN online because I truly have the right to be angry. YET I am the most optomistic person you will ever meet. I believe that each and every person is logical and wants to do right. I believe that if you put the proper prospective in front of even a racist he will see the light.
I had christmas dinner with a man who was known by all to be a racist. he hated blacks. I was dating his daughter and after seeing how i treated his little girl for over the 2 years we dated he shook my hand and ate dinner with me in his home. His mother was the nicest little old italian woman you would ever meet (she cut the meat on my plate like i was a kid she was too cute). Still No self respecting racist would do that. Told me that his true love was his family. His daughter loved me and i treated her the way he wanted her to be treated. color washed away and all that he saw was a man. That is the story I hold onto when I face bosses who still treat me poorly or the occasional
"yeah we've met"
from someone who you know you have never laid eyes on. this is often code for all blacks look alike.
So sorry if I dronned on. Been awhile since i wrote anything of substance. All I can say is that for a man on the outside (not black, too educated; not white, obviously; not latino but cant convince them of that) looking in this country is getting better. When pop-culture shows mixed couples on tv, children of mixed couples, shows where black men and white women actually have relationships then i know we are moving to a less racist era. I may not be there to see the end of it but I have a dream.....