Humans of Radford University

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I had a black live-in nanny when I was growing up. That’s like extremely racist to a lot of people, but it wasn’t like The Help. It wasn’t like a 1950s-60s kind of thing. She worked with my mom and they were friends, and she did other jobs, but she was a nanny when she could be. For a while, I didn’t know it wasn’t normal to have a nanny because she was like my second mom; she was like family. So it was never strange to think, “I grew up with a black nanny in a white family.” That’s a lot of stereotypes that didn’t actually become stereotypes. So I’m not a fan of the whole “stereotypes exist ‘cause they’re true.” No, they don’t. Stereotypes exist because people have predetermined biases towards certain types of people that they don’t want to associate with. But I don’t believe in basically any stereotypes. I’ll still make fun of a white girl in the line at Starbucks who wants to order the most complicated thing on the menu. I’ll still tease people like that. But I don’t believe black people are more predestined to break the law or anything. No, it’s ‘cause the law is literally targeting them at all times, and these people aren’t given the same opportunities in life ever. You try growing up in the inner city and stuff like that and see if you come out okay. And people do come out okay, but that’s through a lot of perseverance and personal growth and that’s more of a miracle story than anything that happens in white suburbia. I’m prone to getting into Facebook fights with my relatives which I’ve been told repeatedly by my parents to please not do, because we do have to see them on Thanksgiving. But I had an uncle who got up in arms over the whole Kaepernick not standing for the anthem thing, and so he made this post about it and I commented on it, and he started saying how black people aren’t oppressed in this country anymore, and I’m like “Well, they are.” I think if I had taken it out of the Facebook chat and put it in a Word document it probably would have been a solid three pages of statistics of  what it is like to grow up black in America and stuff from the fact that you get pulled over for traffic violations like 70% more often even though you commit traffic violations at the exact same rate as white people, and you go to jail way more often even if you commit the same crime, and you go to jail for longer.  I threw like three or four pages of statistics at him and he pulled the “I had a black friend growing up” card. He’s like “I work with people of diverse ethnicities every day.” He lives in Salt Lake City, Utah. So I pulled out the 2010 Census of Salt Lake City and Utah as a whole, which says the entire state, is 98.7% white people. So I wrote back and said, “I know you live in Utah, so statistically speaking you probably forget other races exist, but they do, so you don’t get to be the authority on whether or not someone is still oppressed in this country.”

 

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