It’s amazing how you can get along quite well with someone until you realize they proudly blurt out their views that make you want to instantly kick them where it hurts.
I’m known generally as the nicest person in the world. I hate conflict, and when I’m in a conversation with someone, I feel an incredibly strong obligation to smile and listen. Last week I had an extremely gigantic exception.
I was racing onto campus from work to go to the Michael Brown discussion in the Women’s Center when I encountered one of my classmates from History. We both laughed about how last minute we are when it comes to writing papers, and all was fine and good, until he said:
“Did you see the protestors up there for Ferguson?” I had no idea he meant it in a bad way.
I immediately got excited that there were protestors and asked where they were, and that’s when he snapped and exclaimed:
“What are you excited for?! My brother is a cop, and he has to deal with this stuff all of the time! I’m tired of people calling racism. It’s annoying. It’s not like black people are slaves anymore. They have their freedom, they just need to move on.”
In the midst of his “argument,” I immediately snapped, and yelled “You don’t know what the f*** you’re talking about! You have no f******* idea!”And proceeding to race to the Women’s Center with tears drowning from my face.
Did he assume I’d agree with him because I was white? Did he really believe I’d go along with his absurd comments? It made me lose a lot of hope for my generation until I made it to the Women’s Center and found people as outraged as I was, and had sophisticated arguments as well as insightful thoughts. I didn’t feel so hopeless and alone after that, but it did make me realize more than ever that there is still a fight to be won. We are still in a society that holds particular standards for race, beauty, wealth, and power. We need people to get angry and aware if we want to be and see changes in our country. Until then, I hope that guy in my history class knows why I went from nice to outraged in .00006 seconds right in his face.