In School I Remember Being Taught About The Civil War,

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In school I remember being taught about the Civil War, and about the Civil Rights movement. I remember my teachers speaking to me about slavery and racism as if it were a thing of the past. I spent all of elementary school believing I lived in a time where Martin Luther King Jr.’s dream had finally came true. I never “saw” color, partly because I was young and partly because I was surrounded by caucasian faces. I didn’t realize I was a minority because I just thought that was the norm. But then middle school hit. And I left my safe haven in Pembroke Pines, Florida, and I took a bus every morning and every afternoon to Ft. Lauderdale, where I attended a magnet school. It was here that I encountered people of color. I had never seen so many…show more content…
I would be okay. Needless to say, that didn’t happen. Blatant acts of racism were replaced with color-blind racism. I would explain my past, and peers would look at me in bewilderment. “There’s no way that’s true Lexi,” one peer would say. “Maybe they have never had a nice encounter with a person of color,” another would rationalize, “Maybe they didn’t know better. Either way it’s okay because this school isn’t like that.” They were right, it wasn’t the same, but it was still hurtful. The shooting of Trayvon Martin occurred during this time in my life, and soon after that the Black Lives Matter movement. The true colors of my peers were slowly peaking through. “I just don’t get it,” they would say, “if Zimmerman were guilty he would have been arrested. Why won’t they let it go.” The worst comments always had to do with the police, “If a cop feels threaten, it’s only natural that he protect himself,” or, “the black guy shouldn’t have ran.” They were justifying these murders. They were excusing the actions of the cops. They were labeling the victims as troubled, or as a threat. They were being color-blind. My life continued, and so did the shootings, the protests, and the color-blind racism. Nevertheless, when looking back on my blissful elementary years I asked a question that I would have answered so differently back then: Has racism and prejudice disappeared or improved in the United States? It isn’t enough to simply answer
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