“DO NOT DISMISS OR CHANGE WHO I AM OR THE EXPERIENCES I HAVE HAD FOR YOUR SATISFACTION.”
I said this in a column I wrote back in April 2019, in which I was confronting this subtle racism I’d been seeing at BGSU.
As the months have passed, and April 2020 is two months away, I thought for Black History Month I’d look back and re-emphasize my points, again.
I’m still not perfect with verbal confrontation, especially when there’s an issue with race, ethnicity or any social injustice. The writing says it all.
If the personal experiences I spoke about in “Columnist confronts subtle racism,” I can think of personal experiences (especially in the last few months) where I’ve experienced subtle racism and discrimination, and I hate it.
As I will not go into any deeper stories from the year, I want to reiterate, please, when a person of color explains their personal experiences, don’t deny it and don’t try to change it. It’s not your experience to alter. What if someone tried to change what you’ve experienced in your life?
If I had the time to, I’d continue to speak about the various things I have heard growing up and the things I have heard on campus. I, for one, will not confront you each time you say the n-word, or whatever offensive word you say. It’s not worth it to waste my breath if people won’t listen. My voice has been silenced, but these words never will be.
It is 2020, and people will especially not be silent anymore.
I’m human, and during Black History Month, I hope people start to see my Black brothers and sisters as human, too. We have valid feelings and we bleed the same as each person on the face of the Earth. But when people dismiss the humanity of Black people, it’s repeating the history we’re still attempting to overcome.
As I said last April, “People may choose to ignore the world, but they can’t ignore it persistently. I promise you, in your lifetime, you may read something you dislike, disagree with or get defensive, but you can’t ignore reality. To restate, we are repeating the history we’re still attempting to overcome; if you don’t realize this, then I’d advise you to take a long look at the world around you.”