Autoethnography

Katrina Washington Professor J. Longacre English 111 Sec. 26 November 25, 2012 Segregate the Other Segregation occurs within the African American race and also towards African Americans by society. Sometimes in life you can be segregated by your own race. Or maybe the outsiders see it as you being an “other” just because you have different opinions about certain things that they feel is right or wrong. Being the black sheep of a crowd within your very own kind is never a good feeling. In my own personal experience of life, I am always the other out of every group of black people which is my race.
Various times I am embarrassed for the way the engage their ignorance into their actions and words. I am a black woman of intelligence and perseverance. I do not tolerate any type of foolery of people’s stupidity to make myself fit in with that particular crowd. I attend the University of Tennessee at Martin, a predominantly white school, where I am always overlooked by my words due to dominant opinions already made about us black folk. However, there was a very heated situation that happened recently that almost lead out of control.
The night of the election really took a turn for the worse on campus. Needless to say that since there was a black man versus a white man running for presidency, there were lots of racist actions shown and racist words thrown. This situation made me feel very nervous and uncomfortable because I knew how the turnout would be. Once Barack Obama was announced as president again… things on campus got a bit out of hand. Almost all the black students were outside in the parking lot acting like wild monkeys.

Yes I understand they were happy and all, but it shouldn’t have been that ridiculous. There were several white students hanging out windows bellowing racist remarks and insults. Once they started throwing out those dirty words, I felt sick to my stomach. Disgusted and irritated just by the sound of the word “Nigger”! Black students that heard those bad remarks took things in their own hands and it almost became a riot right there in the parking lot. Me trying to bring down some of the heat, I tried to tell them to calm down and that it wasn’t that serious.
They just looked at me as if I had the word weirdo written across my forehead. They ignored my words and thoughts of expression due to my opposite opinion on how to handle things. I then immediately became the “Other”. I hate to be stereotyped as the average loud, gang banging, trash talking, attitude having black person. And what I was trying to warn them to not fit into the typical stereotypes. However, they thought I was stuck on stupid or something and mentally put me in a little segregated group of my own for my unspoken actions for help.
It made me feel eliminated by my own race for thinking outside their mentality structures; fortunately, I do not abide by the status quo. Being the other is never a good spot to sit in. Your voice is never heard and you are always judged if you disagree with what they think. When you don’t agree with their opinion about whatever, they judge you as being weird or strange. Why do you have to be strange just because you want to speak for yourself and not follow behind others? It’s so annoying and pitiful when you talk to someone about your feelings or what have you, and they act like they really care.
Yes people always say they understand what you’re talking about when you tell about a bad experience, especially some sort of struggle or downfall. Unfortunately, most of the time people just tell you they understand to shut you up. The people that agree with you will never understand what the under covering of the words you speak simply because they are not you. It’s needless to say that they’ll blackmail you with your own information once you think you can trust them. There is always a story behind people’s words and their opinion counts too.
Being the other is a tough role seeing that people can hear you, but they’re not listening. People hear your cries, but can’t feel your pain. If you ask me, it feels so much worse to be put down by your own race rather than any other. To add extra burden to the plate, high school days were no easier to be myself. I attended a school full African American; there were no white or Hipic kids what so ever. I never wanted to attend a school with strictly one race, even though I’m African American, I always felt like the only white student there.
All the students just took things too far with the names, insults, and ignorant ways. They insulted the way I dressed, talked, and even how I spent my personal time outside of school. “Why you talk so proper like a white person? ” they asked. “Why you dress like them little rich snobby white girls? ” they said. Always upset that they judged me to be something I’m not by the look of my appearance or the sound of my voice. Every time I stood up to defend myself, they said they understand why I don’t act like them; but everybody knows they were saying it to shut me up.
They always avoided me and treated me like an outsider because of my significant differences. Even though I am still African American just like them, they still looked to me as the other. I say it is a form of racism within my own race and even social group. How can you segregate someone of your own kind? Every race should get along, but also every race should stick together and have each other’s back. No matter the difference in personality, style, voice, or appearance. We are all the same and it is so stupid to be judged off of those things.
Author Christopher Sunami of Essay “Racism” states, “Race enters the picture only in as much as it is an easy trait to identify and a hard one to change. For this reason, people of a different racial group are the best and easiest targets for “Othering. ” We live in a world filled with different religions, lifestyles, and races. Remember back in the day how all black people were slaves to the whites? There were whips and chains to prove the black people’s place in the world. Times were terrible and black people had no clue how to get away or how to make everyone believe that it should discontinue.
However, in the present time period, statistics say that slavery is still about, just in a different approach. The current approach to slavery usually takes place at work or within social groups around your very own community. Be that as it may, there really is no bright side. There is a cleaner word for slavery but it sort of has similar meanings. The word I’m referring to is “the other”. The word basically means any group identifiable as a whole to which they don’t belong personally. The biased title of being “the other” occurs everywhere none stop.
Unfortunately it will not stop, being that the other has no voice and is alienated consistently for his/her opinion or thoughts. As shocking as it may appear, being the other can actually form in its own race group. Being discriminated against by other races is bad enough, but it is more degrading to be discriminated against within your own race group. Author Chris Gosden of the article, “Race and Racism in Archaeology” says “All human beings make value judgments concerning other people and things all the time and these are based on physical and formal qualities of persons. People judge other people off of the simplest things imaginable. It is really irrelevant to do such things to people just because they enjoy being themselves. Gosden also mentions that there are two types of discrimination. There is positive discrimination, which is usually making a good judgment to probably better something or someone. There is nothing wrong with judging someone to let them know that they are doing something wrong or giving off the wrong impression to people whom they do not know.
People should realize that it is a form of slavery to discriminate against someone of your same race, eyes need to be opened wider, ears need to listen harder, and racial groups need to grow closer. Gosden also states, “One pervasive argument about racism is that it is a product of colonial and capitalist relations over the last few hundred years, so that nothing like it existed in earlier periods of human history. ” Racism has been taking its toll on the world and certain races for so many years. Needless to say that racism affects a particular race more than any other.
African Americans usually get judged harder for the color or “colour” of our skin if I may. I am an African American myself and I get racist remarks thrown at me here and there just because of my skin color. It is a darn shame that things have not gotten better in this particular situation by now. It is actually almost as bad as slavery was back in the day. The reason being is because back in the day slavery was out in the open without any type of sugar coating. Now it is all sneaky and under cover. Most people act to be blind to this type of thing either because they’re ignorant or just in denial to the truth of reality.
One thing everybody needs to be sure of, is that almost anything can happen. There is so much going on in this scandalous world that people just look over. Back to the racism in the same race issue… people can’t just continue to look over that like it is okay. There is enough struggles African Americans go through, the last thing they need to be doing is discriminating against each other. African Americans struggle with poverty, unemployment, and believe it or not, an unheard voice to the authorities of this place we live in.
Not to mention the people that calls themselves Christians and true believers of God. They are usually the main ones who back stab their kind. Author Christopher Sunami also states, “In America this has historically been a white-against-black issue, although this has shifted somewhat recently. In some communities, Latinos have replaced blacks at the bottom of the social structure. ” I feel this is very untrue seeing that the employment rate of Latino’s is higher than the African American employment rate. It was and always will be a white against black racial issue.
No matter what people say or how many things are proven, I see it every day out of my African American eyes. It is most definitely nothing I am proud of; however, I would never turn my own kind away because of his/her difference. It is so ignorant that people are this way, acting just like those other racist groups. The belief of all racism ceasing to exist has been sitting on a wing and a prayer, and I severely fear that it will remain the same. Work Cited Sunami, Christopher. (2006): n. page. Print. Gosden, Chris. “Race and Racism in Archaeology: Introduction. ” March 2006, n. pag. Print.

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