Minorities feel misplaced

Editor reflects on her encounters with racial injustices and inequality


Claire Grunewald

For today’s minorities, racial stereotypes create a feeling of being the odd one out in their own schools and communities.

If you don’t know me or haven’t met me, I happen to be black. It’s not a bad thing, but I am a minority and I quickly realized that comes with a lot of undesired and unexplainable consequences.

The experiences started from a young age: stares, the pulling of my hair just to make sure it was “natural,” or people asking if I get darker in the summer. I answered those ridiculous questions and let people grab my hair. I never stopped to think about all those weird situations, but I think about them now.

Then come the snide comments. I’ve dealt with a lot of annoying and frustrating things in my 16 years on this Earth, but nothing makes my blood boil more than when people ask me insane questions such as, “Does it offend you if I say the ‘nigga’ around you?”

The fact that someone has the audacity to ask me, a black woman, if it’s okay to say the “N word” around me is extremely inappropriate because of the connotations associated with that word. That word shouldn’t be said in general for any sort of slang or “terms of endearment.”

I’m sure all minorities have this problem. The stares and the touching or insulting remarks that remind you the world isn’t the friendliest place. It’s not who we are that’s upsetting, it’s the type of people we encounter with their fixed mindset that can make it upsetting. Unfortunately, there is an increasingly alarming amount of ignorant people in our society who need to be culturally educated.

We are human beings, we have the same 206 bones that everyone else on the planet has. We have two eyes and two arms and surprisingly, two legs. We also have a beating heart, the same heart that pumps blood throughout our body and the same heart that allows us to feel. We feel your hurtful comments and stares, and we’re affected just the same.

People look at you like you’re from a different planet, like the color of your skin reflects who you are based on the the stereotypes we have in our society. I don’t play basketball nor will I ever, and people only assume that I do because I am black, and 74% of the NBA players are black according to racial equality activist, Richard Lapchick.

It’s unnerving that we can’t keep our dismissive comments to ourselves and just live in peace among people. Different minorities should be able to have peace in knowing that their relationship doesn’t affect what the rest of the world thinks, but it does.

I’ve had people tell me when I was a kid that they couldn’t share their “blankies” with me because I’m black. Yes, even at a young age, we are taught not to share our belongings or hang out with people because of their skin color. That translates into something deeper once we hit our teenage years, we start to restrict ourselves on who we date or who we associate ourselves with.

Kids hear questionable remarks from their parents and adults around them and make them their own. Adults were born in a different time period, and they have lived through and seen things that we can only read about in textbooks. Their opinions, or disregard for human beings of a different skin color or nationality, should not influence our generation’s opinion in any way shape or form.

According to NBC News, by the year 2043, the white majority will be gone and America will be known as a “minority-majority” country. Everyone needs to read that statement and understand that you will not be alone. You don’t have to accept it, but you might as well deal with it because minorities aren’t going anywhere.

All I’m saying is that it’s 2016. We are past the point of slavery, social persecution, and segregation. We should take pride in knowing that we have the opportunity to be surrounded by a diverse group of people to learn from.

Azanae Barrow is a Community Editor for The Patriot and jcpatriot.com.