I think we’ve all heard the “racism is dead, so get over it” argument, so I would like to show you instances of racism in our modern America. Specifically from college-aged students. The sad part about these examples is that all of the instances I am about to show you were of people from my generation being racially insensitive. My generation. My peers. Yea, it at first it surprised me too.
To everyone who wants to know why people like me don’t like people using the N-word, THIS is why. Because there are people who use it to hurt other people.
Recently, I had a member of the Wake Forest custodial staff tell me that a white male had drawn black face on a board with the intentions that the custodian would see it and when she did see it, she began to cry. A group of students (also white males) noticed this and went to teach their friend a lesson. Instead of beating him up, they made him apologize to her. She told me that she didn’t report it because she didn’t need to and she didn’t want to create a mess. He apologized, even though he wouldn’t have if his friends hand not made him.
I would also like to bring light to an experience I had with Rohith Raman, during the summer of 2015. At the time he was a rising high school junior but he now attends Vanderbilt University.
He could have called me a nigga under a pseudonym but he didn’t, he could have changed his name but he didn’t. He wasn’t worried about people knowing he’s a racist. So I’m not either.
Funny thing is, he thought he was so much better than me because I’m Black and he’s Indian, but I got into Vanderbilt too. And turns out after sophomore year, we had the same GPA, 4.6. It’s sad that I needed to prove that I was worthy of respect just because I’m Black. Why do I need to work twice as hard to get the same kind of treatment? So if he didn’t know that I attended the North Carolina School of Science and Math, all I would have been is a “bitch nigga named Chibididibum like shit.” What he didn’t know was that Chidubem is Nigerian, Chidubem is part of my heritage, Chidubem means “god leads me.” I could easily go by Naomi which may sound less ghetto to those who don’t know the origin of my name. Though, since my experience with Mr. Raman when people ask me what I prefer to be called, I say “Chidubem,” or I say “Chi.”
Please, remember, for every racist, there are hundreds if not thousands of people who disagree with them. It’s not every White person, it’s not every Asian person, it’s not everyone. It’s not even most of them, it’s just some.
If you have any personal experiences with racism, whether you’re black, white, yellow, orange, or green, let me know in the comments. The first step to creating change is starting a discussion so let’s talk.