Word Play: Racial Issues in the South

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Racial Issues in the South

Race is still an issue in the south.

In the lawbooks, blacks and whites are completely equal. There are black politicians and black newscasters but although schools and public areas are no longer segregated by law, people tend to flock towards "their own kind."

I've never lived anywhere with ethnic diversity. My high school in Idaho had um... four African Americans. Yes, four. In February, Black History Month, our newspaper did an article in which all four blacks were interviewed. I've moved from a 99% white community to a place where blacks and whites are nearly equal in number.

I'm not racist. I really am not, but to tell the truth, I've never been exposed to different races. The funny thing is, I've attended parties brimming with 200-300 people, and none of them have been black. The white kids DO consider themselves superior to blacks. It is nearly unspoken yet apparent through their actions. White kids hang out with white kids and black kids hang out with black kids. Anything else is a social taboo.

Here is a REAL conversation that I overheard the other day amongst a couple of high school boys:
"So-and-so made out with a black guy."
"Oh my god, that is disgusting."
"You better hope he was good because no white guy will ever touch her again."
"I know I won't, she's been contaminated."

What? WHAT?! That is absolutely despicable. I moved here thinking that America had changed since the Civil War, since the Civil Rights Movement... and it has, but we are still far from social equality.

Yesterday I was at a laser tag zone and I was talking with this black girl and we really got along. We had similar interests and I definitely wouldn't mind befriending her. Yet I'm terrified of developing a reputation before I even step into my new high school.

I know its unlikely, but I'd love to see the social situation change. I want to be able to befriend whoever I'd like without committing social suicide.

Who knew that the south was so steeped in tradition that blacks and whites still lead separate lives, rarely mixing. What do I do? I can't sit back and just avoid all people with skin pigment. That is morally unethical.

this is a new world. Change is necessary yet the south is adament about keeping their "way of life".


move to LA. A casual 300 person party is a bit much, even for college. Maybe double check your estimates.

Holland can be like that sometimes. Every so often an old Dutch person will use a racist word with out meaning to be racist. To them it is just another word for a black person. They simply can not see how wrong it is.

I still can't get my head around it.

One of my friends spent six months in Pennsylvania (we're both from Australia) and she said pretty much exactly the same thing. I was quite surprised, actually.

Then I looked around and thought about it. And noticed that it's true here too. There are quite alot of people of Asian descent at my university - and even second and third generation people tend to have friends of the same race.

It's sad, really. That the idea that it's okay only to look as deep as someone's skin colour is still in use and perpetuated.

Racism exists amongst minorities as well. It is a fact of life.

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  • I'm Whitney Davis
  • From Eagle, Idaho, United States
  • I try to see the best in each situation and I believe that happiness is often a choice. I don't like being home and would rather be spending my time with my friends... people I try to choose wisely. I've made many mistakes, but I've learned from each of them, so in retrospect I'm glad I experienced them. Life is a collection of events that has helped me grow as an individual.
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