As a Black woman, I’m often disappointed by the stereotypes of people of color. Black people are “thugs or criminals”, people of Arab descent are “terrorists”, and according to #notmypresidenttrump, Mexicans are “rapists and drug dealers.” It’s sad and hurtful, but something that I’m aware of nonetheless. I thought I had pretty much heard it all until a recent story from Refinery 29 and a series of tweets that let me know that I had not.
In the wake of the Justice Departments decision to investigate Affirmative Action admissions policies at universities, Refinery 29 writer, Ashley Ford, had a revelation. She recalled a summer where she taught wilderness survival at a boy scout camp. She was the only Black employee at the camp, and had an interesting conversation with her White co-workers. As she was thrilled to start college in the fall, she began discussing her future plans with her fellow employees. That’s when the conversation went left. Check out the tweets below for her story:
“Yeah I didn’t even apply for college. Can’t afford it. I’m white, so you know, it isn’t free for me,”
I was speechless as I read her story. The series of tweets spread quickly, reaching 22,000 retweets. Ashley followed up with a feature for Refinery 29 aptly titled “PSA: Black People Don’t Go To College For Free” further explaining her tweets.
Black People and Native Americans shared similar experiences of being confronted with this narrative. I’ve personally never heard this before. I’m more familiar with the “all Black people are on welfare and live in the projects” narrative. Apparently we get everything for free, including college. No wonder they can’t understand why we’re “always complaining” (*rolls eyes*).
Of course not all White people think this, but it’s disappointing to know that there are some who do. Ignorance breeds ignorance, and hopefully her tweets and feature will start a healthy conversation about myths/stereotypes of people of color.
Do you have any similar or equally crazy stories to share? Sound off below!