[This post written by guest blogger JustAnotherTeen]
I have just completed a summer program at the southeastern university that I will be attending starting next week. The program was a math refresher course for incoming freshmen, around 30 in total with four being a minority and four being female. I have three suitemates, and since the beginning I have not exactly liked them due to their belief that school is more about parties than learning attitude. On a few occasions I had observed some racist comments, but until last week, there was nothing to go off the deep end about.
I was shocked and dismayed at the comments that my (white) roommates made. They were appalled about a white girl having sex with a black guy. I was appalled at the extreme amount of racism in the air. They came up with no less than five derogatory phrases for an interracial couple. They talked about how much they hated interracial relationships, whether they were in one or it was someone they had seen on the street.
The strange thing was that they had no problem with the black guys in our class. Their only problem was what they saw as a very degrading relationship for the girl. Not to give the impression that they actually cared about the girl, they were actually more disgusted in her than in the guy. They said that if their little sister brought home anything but a member of the ‘Aryan race’ there would be an ensuing hanging in the back yard, likely of both the sister and her new boyfriend.
Personally, this is a hard situation for me to comprehend because I, honestly, think racism is idiotic. I was not raised by my family to think that any race is supreme. I was taught that we are all humans. My grandparents were more racist, but I was not exposed to much of that. And so the open racism involved in this is not something I am used to, and not something I can stomach well. I mean, I realize I should almost expect it, living in the south, but I suppose I was kind of sheltered. Even more influential than the lack of racism in my family is the fact that my older brother was in an interracial relationship when I was around twelve or so. At the time, I thought nothing of it, anymore than I thought anything about my other brother’s white girlfriend.
I am disappointed that the south, and likely the country as a whole, cannot move on past interracial relationships. For over 40 years interracial marriages have been legal in this country (INSERT WIKI LINK). Why then, have we not moved on? Segregation is over. Separate but equal is history (as far as race goes, lets not get into sexual orientation discrimination).
I honestly am at a loss…how does one respond to such comments? How do you deal with such blatant bigotry?