It all started once I was selected to be apart of this rigorous academic program in my state.
We were a diverse group of students and we easily bonded with each other. I found my friend group within the first week of the program and we still keep in touch 😉 if you’re reading this, you know who you are ;p
Anyways, in addition to that friend group, I became cool with other people in the program as well. I became friends with a girl who I believed to be extremely intelligent and admirable … at the time.
All the admiration I had for her and my opinion on her level of intelligence went out the window once I got a taste of the real her.
Grab your coffee/tea and get comfortable because I got a storytime for you.
She was a woman of color, however, she was not African-American.
I was casually sitting down, minding my business, and eating my lunch. She suddenly runs up to me and asks me to hold her wallet because she needs to go to the restroom. I said sure because why not, then she adds, “I got 40 dollars in here, don’t steal my money.”
WHEW CHILEEE!!!!!! Could you imagine how much was going on in my mind at that very second? I was in such absolute shock that I froze; I couldn’t even process anything.
How dare you assume I’m going to steal money from you? Would you have said the same thing to your caucasian friend if you had asked them to hold your wallet?
I could feel my body temperature and heart rate going up. My chest was fueled with anger.
How could someone I deemed to be extremely intelligent, allow themselves to sink so deep into ignorance to the point where their perceptions towards African-Americans are based off stereotypes?
I feel bad for you sis.
You are a woman of color and you have stereotypes against African-Americans (another group of people of color) … we don’t win that way!
That way of thinking is surrounded by so much ignorance (beyond what I can explain)!
You’ll rarely ever have potential to be open minded because agreeing to stereotypes proves your UNWILLINGNESS TO BE OPEN MINDED.
I know some of you think that if you were in my shoes, you’d react differently. Maybe you would have but now that I look back at how I handled the situation, I was smart.
- I already knew she was stereotypical towards African-Americans, therefore, I avoided giving her the reaction she was probably expecting.
- Giving her the reaction she wanted, simply would’ve just supported her ideas towards the African-American community even more.
- I don’t need to waste energy on people; snapping on her would have just probably made me cry ( I’m the type that cries when angry).
We have to be careful with our way of thinking. Please don’t allow stereotypes to affect your perceptions of others.
This experience made me feel anger, but it hurt me most to know that a peer, that I once called my friend, is looking at me and thinking I’m capable of such things because of their ideas about my race.
Don’t allow your brain to limit your willingness to expand your way of thinking by simply going for stereotypes, because that’s the easy way of going about it!
Live and learn through your own experiences.
Comment what stereotypical idea you’ve been a victim of!
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