Segregation Simulation | Teen Ink

Segregation Simulation

January 25, 2015
By Underdog73 GOLD, Denver, Colorado
Underdog73 GOLD, Denver, Colorado
16 articles 0 photos 7 comments

Favorite Quote:
I don't trust actions, I trust words

This is the story of my experience with our schools segregation simulation. And with your premition i'd like to share it with you. 


Segreation Simulation                         


Day 1 ‘African-American’

I think I can speak on behalf of the class that the first day was the hardest. History class was the big eye opener for me. The teacher I once knew to be nice and friendly turned cold. If I spoke out of term I was in trouble. For reasons in the beginning unknown to me. My other classmates who wear the same arm band as me look the same as I do. Terrified and alone. We're forced to sit in the back of the class which is fine by me because that is my normal seat. But the teacher snaps at us while she is sweet to the White arm band students. One of the students who wears a black armband on her arm raises her hand timidly hoping to be called on. A couple of us stare at her waiting to see what will happen. After 15 minutes she just gives up. I guess I could understand why she gave up. Why try if you know it will never happen? In the classroom we do not exist. We are the dead weight the rest of the class carries. We are the extras in this horror film called school. Never in my life have I ever been more afraid of my History teacher. Her words and tone towards us is aggressive and cold. She seems to stare straight as us as if we are ghosts. Making eye contact in the teacher’s eyes is a crime. Helping out your fellow student is outlawed. We are asked to clean over and over until there is nothing left for us to be forced into doing. When we are given an opportunity to speak. We are silent, or our voices are numb or bitter with anger. I make one mistake and get snapped at and suddenly I'm funnier than a clown. What I have done to deserve such torment is a mystery to me.There is no rules or limits on what can be done to us. A country of freedom is no longer free, but lawless. The tears that fall from my eyes and stain my cheeks, are tears of hope that it will all end. I’m prepared to give up. But I know I can’t. If I give up I am weak in the eyes of those around me. To continue, I would call a foolish act. Is it bravery that makes me stay? No. It’s hope for a better and brighter tomorrow.  

Day 2 ‘African-American’
Today was slightly better than I expected. The tears of yesterday are still embedded in my cheeks and threaten to fall again. But today they haven't fallen, yet. Science class was frightening but not as bad as I had feared. Rulers were carelessly slammed in front of me. And I was told that I shouldn't even bother to try, for I am not smart enough anyways. For a moment I faltered, but I continued on. At lunch today, I wasn't as far back as the teachers would have liked me to be. So as punishment I was sent to clean the science room. I suffered the judging stares of seventh graders as I crawled on my hands and knees to pick of bits of trash. I was not finished until the science teacher instructed me otherwise. I have cleaned classrooms so many times my knees ache with pain. My hands are red with carpet burns. But my tears are no more. Why should I pity myself with tears? It isn't as if it makes a difference. The punishments and odd tasks I am asked to do remain the same. I feel, and some how know I am not wanted and yet I stay. The white armband students are supposedly trying to help. But their help makes it worse. It seems as if they are trying to get us in trouble. Exploit our limitations and undermine us in society. Although this is only a simulation. What I haven't experienced, the hate and bitter emotions I feel. I have felt before. I would think it would be easier this time, but no it’s a much harder burned to carry. The pain rises up inside like a dormant volcano about to erupt. A pain I have not felt since I was a sixth grader. My memories rise up from the past adding on to my weary mind. Being told I was not good enough reminds me of my rejection day, where I wasn't selected because I was too bossy. I understand the past should remain the past in this simulation. But the feelings are enhanced because of it. Reliving the past is never easy. Especially when the past is supposed to be over and done with.

Day 3 ‘White’
The switch has happened and now I supposedly have the upper hand. In what, I’m not sure. To deny I like the feeling of being special would be a like. To say I've become obsessed with it would be an over statement. But the feeling is odd all the same. This is the only time in my life that i've felt like the greater being, as if i’m special. I’m ashamed of my emotions and thoughts, but the foreign feeling is something I will be sad to depart with. After two days of being treated like an inferior, being laughed at and scorned, I feel that the other deserve such treatment. Now they know my pain. The burden I carried. But as I sit while the others are forced to stan, I have my doubts. I still believe it is, and will be easier for them then it was for me. They now know how to act and what is expected of them. Where as I, and the others had to figure it all out alone. Instead of them having art and technology, they are sent to clean the halls and any classrooms that desire it. At first I felt that it seems just. But their treatment seems slightly harder than ours. At first their slow, bitter torment made me feel better. Knowing they are feeling pain, and that for some unknow reason I am better, makes me feel happy. But then I realized that some of their tears, are tears for hope as well.

Day 4 ‘White’
Today is our last day participating in the simulation. For that I am grateful. But earlier today I learned a few students dropped out. For reasons unknown to me this is slightly angering. I served my two days of pain and torture, why shouldn’t they? It only seems fair that they stick with it. I know we’re alright to drop out of the simulation at any given moment but still it seems unfair. I know how they feel, I know the tears, the pain, the heartbreak. And they witnessed all of that for me. A couple students confronted me about the issue of my tears. I understand its humiliating, I went through it and experienced it first hand. But if they can live through my suffering, surely they can live through their own. They witnessed our destruction. But now that it is their own, they want it to be over. A taste of their own medicine. Except the problem is, no one is laughing at them. Today at lunch was the start of the revolution everyone was waiting for. A handful of black arm band students sat at the white arm band tables. They sat there for a good few minutes until another one ran over and said “I’m going to join my brothers”. A bunch of black arm band students applauded, as did I. This week was a very termatic week for me. My hope one day is to become an author. And when my math teacher saw me reading and asked why even bother? She apparently knows I can’t read anything anyway. That hurt. It hurt the most out of all the treacherous things they could do to me. But she saw a black arm band student with there phone out and accused them of stealing it I understood, yet again this is all for pretend. But the thought still lingered on.
This simulation has taught me much about the hardships of life, but I would never want to put another student through such a thing. Even now I had wished I never signed up. I wasn't angry or upset with my teachers as they had expected. I was mad with myself. For not being good enough. I believed most of my teachers saying why even bother? But that is the question isn't it? Why bother with anything if you are predestined to fail? I supposed we follow it through to prove those who once doubted us, wrong. 

The author's comments:

We shouldn't take our freedoms for granted, we should reflect on our rocky past and learn to better our future. Equality shouldn't be just a luck thing. It should be an everyone thing.

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