It’s a story that us blacks know far too well. Being stopped at airports, being questioned, being judged, perhaps even being feared based on the color of our skin. Racism is something that I will never truly understand. Even, in my current full time job, when I speak with people over the phone prior to picking up donations, I can almost sense how taken aback they are when a young, black female comes to collect the donations. You can almost see that look of judgement in their eyes. Sometimes you can feel those harsh stares, practically piercing through your soul. It makes me uncomfortable to say the least.
I was prompted to write this post after viewing a very disturbing video by a 19 year old former student at the University of Alabama in which Harley Barber posted to Instagram and openly stated her dislike of African Americans and how she is in Alabama now and can say the N-word as much as she wishes and how she does not care that it is Martin Luther King Day. Oh, and how she pretends to like black people. Ok, I get that we have a president who does nothing but spew hate left and right and try to get others feared, nevertheless in this day and age it is very disturbing. This is troublesome and causes me to inquire what exactly her parents are teaching her? And how exactly she has learned to hate so much and why? What are you afraid of? I dare you to ask that question.
If you dislike me because I am black. That is shallow and rather ignorant. If you are going to dislike me, do so because I am rude, our personalities clash or I am not a very nice person.
Is this really what we want to be teaching our youth? Is this really the world that we want to leave for our youth? Teaching that this intolerance is okay and acceptable?
This is why I encourage young people and the youth to travel and to explore and to learn. Expand and diversify. Learn about different countries and cultures and meet different people along the way. You’ll be surprised at what you find, at what you discover. You will learn that people are mostly good and kind and friendly. You will learn that people mostly do want to help you. You’ll learn that all people really want out of life is to love and be loved. You will learn that people are not as bad as others make them out to be. You will learn that not everybody is bad, but that there are good and bad people, no matter what country you live in. You will learn to love and be open and be more accepting. You will learn that others have it far worse than you do and you will begin to count your blessings. If you have food on your table every night and clothes on your back, then you are luckier than most. Some people work so hard to make a living and that should be appreciated. You cannot help the family that you were born into.
In spite of all of this and people like Harley, especially in the United States, unfortunately, she is not the only person that feels this way; but she posted it on Instagram and felt that there would be no repercussions. She must have felt that because she still posted it. I hope that it was worth it for her. To ruin her life at just 19 years old. To get kicked out of university and her sorority. And to think that just because she is in the south, her comments and remarks are not hurtful or insulting and that she can use the n word just because she is in the South. The sad part is the number of people who probably share similar feelings to her that do not speak about it. Sorry to burst your bubble, but no race is superior to others. We all have to live and share this planet, let’s do so in a nice way.
I will still travel because I am not going to let one person belittle me and make me feel inferior.