Your Racist Actions Speak as Loud as Your Words

Anonymous '23

Note: This is the second opinion article written by this student and their life experience regarding racism.

Racism–some people say it used to be a big problem; however, it is still very much a problem. People assume since there are no longer slaves and segregation that racism has gone away. The truth is it has never stopped being in our lives. The only difference is now people are starting to recognize it and film it. There are many types of people being verbally and physically abused every day because of their race or religion–even in schools.

Schools are supposed to be a safe haven for students, but if students aren’t educated properly or they are too entitled then the word safe means nothing. Students and people in general need to start taking other people’s emotions into consideration. Many people of color have pasts or their family has a past that no one knows about.

For example, my parents were an interacial couple and back in the 1990s, people did not always support the idea of a colored man and a white woman being married. My parents were threatened and were even scared to go out sometimes. One time when they were driving in Florida, a group of men were sitting in the back of a pick up truck with guns. My dad had to hide in the car while my mom drove so that they didn’t get killed.

Another example is from when my father was young. He went to Florida to visit his uncle, but he had to be very careful. His neighborhood was surrounded by other neighborhoods that had white supremacy groups. Members of the KKK and Skinheads were neighboring them, so they feared for their lives every time they left the house. Also, many years before my dad visited the house, his uncle’s whole family lived there. His uncle had a younger brother of the age of 8. The family went into the house, leaving the 8 year old by himself outside. The little kid looked at a white woman and because he did this the KKK hung him in the tree in front of the family’s house.

My father still remembers all the stories that were passed down from generation to generation of his family. He will never forget what has happened to him and the many times his life was threatened because of the color of his skin.

So when I get mad because a white person says the “n” word or other racist comments, yes I have a reason. But for people to say I even need a reason to get mad is wrong. There is no need for the word or any other comments to be said in general, especially by a white person. The “n” word was created specifically by white people to degrade people of color and now kids are saying it for no reason. I get mad because people don’t understand the degree of the word and they don’t know what others have been through. I might not say anything to you, but someone will. And one day if a person says the “n” word in the wrong place, their life could be in danger.

So whether it was my father experiencing acts of racism or me hearing the “n” word in the school hallway, our society needs to keep the conversation going about understanding the history of racism in order to actually decrease racist actions.