The question remains: “Does it really matter? Does race still matter? Well, to me, yes and no. Discrimination is known for happening in Southern states, but don’t be fooled, it happens in the north, too.
I can remember many times walking into a certain store and being followed around. The workers made it so obvious when they followed my friends and me. They would come up and just sit at the rack of clothes and stare at us. They made us feel we were lower than everyone else, like we couldn’t afford to shop there and that my money wasn’t good enough, even though I always had at least $40.
I started dating a white boy this year, which didn’t make my mom too happy. She’s been wondering where she went wrong but I guess she’s okay with it now, though I’m pretty sure his parents felt the same way. I love him and I’m pretty sure he loves me.
One day race came up as we were eating. My mom and my aunt finally admitted to being racist. I mean not like going around screaming “Black Power,” but they said, “I’d rather not have a mixed grandchild.” They blamed their attitudes on growing up in the ’60s when it was the time of Black Panthers. I explained my side of the story but, of course, I was a child and they didn’t want to hear it, so they ignored me.
They explained that there will always be racial discrimination and that I could not end it. Well, to me it doesn’t matter what your race is or how much money you have, it’s about what’s on the inside, not the outside.
This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.