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“But I thought that all Black people were ghetto,” I was taken aback after hearing these words; how ignorant some people could truly be. Anger bubbled in me slowly after hearing this. How could someone born in this generation truly think something so racist and stupid? But let me back up to beginning and explain how these words of stupidity came about.
It wasn’t exactly a normal day my boyfriend and I had been fighting tremendously and I was not in a good mood at all, but he had been begging me to meet one of his new best friend, Ryan; so I drove over there quite reluctantly and then waited with my boyfriend on his couch for this kid Ryan. My first impression was already quite tainted by how late he was, but I decided to myself ‘I don’t make any prejudgments about anybody; you never know why he’s late. After 45 minutes of waiting a bony, tall, fair skinned teen showed up at my boyfriends door step. They greeted each other then I was introduced…. Ryan this is my girlfriend Chelsie, Chelsie my friend Ryan, I smiled a half hearted smile and we proceeded to my car and went to the near by steak and shake to eat.
The beginning of the conversation everything was normal, we asked vague questions about each other and then came up the subject about schools. I told him that I was in AP classes and wanted to someday become an engineer. Then he made a comment that stopped me in my tracks.
“Why don’t you talk ghetto?” he asked
I took a double take and didn’t even realize what he had said, “I’m sorry?” Maybe I had misheard him.
“Why don’t you talk ghetto?” He repeated.
“What do you mean, why don’t I talk ghetto, the ghetto is a place how could I talk like a place?” I answered angrily.
“You know what I mean,” He answered.
“Umm, no I don’t know what you mean,” I responded.
“Well you take AP classes, you live in the suburbs and you speak completely proper, that’s not exactly my idea of a typical black girl,” He responded quite innocently.
“Because I speak with proper English and I enjoy challenging myself I’m not the standard of a normal black girl,” I yelled. By this time I was so enraged that I had left the table and headed straight for the door, but right before I put my key in the ignition I realized I had just given my race and gender a bad name by reacting the way I did. I walked back in there and apologized for how I responded to him and now to this day we are very close friends.
I’ve realized that the media and stereotypes are completely detrimental to the way others view many other races and ethnicities. Most of the stupidity that is spewed out of racists mouths is just years of ignorance. Whether someone is black, Asian, White, or just different looking from this experience I realized that I myself judge someone completely based on the stereotypes they fit. In the end I realized can’t judge a book by its color, looks or gender this just hinders a potential relationship, or friendship that could’ve bloomed if I hadn’t.





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BaiLiHua This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Feb. 20, 2010 at 4:20 pm
A very interesting piece. I like the way you handled that. Thanks so much for sharing.
 
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