The "Race Issue" at Predominantly White Institutions
Updated: Oct 18, 2022
In our Constituional Law class we are currently studying individual rights, the 14th amendment, and slavery...one of my classmates thought it would be funny to electronically distribute this Bingo card to the class. He doesn't realize how traumatic it is for me taking that class reading cases about how my ancestors were considered 3/5 of a human being, or how it stings thinking about how my grandparents had to pass a test just to vote. He just thought it was funny. There are certain things that you can never prepare for, and this slap in the face is just one of them. I was warned numerous times that being a Black woman and going to a predominantly White institution would present it's own set of challenges, and while there have been challenges, this is by far my greatest one. How do I even respond to this when others seem to find it humerous? If I respond angrily then I become "The Angry Black Woman", and if I don't respond at all then I'm showing this person that what he did was ok. See this is something that we can talk about until we are blue in the face, but abosolutely nothing can prepare you for it being shoved in your face so blatantly.
The excuse given was that it was a "generic law school bingo board found online" but is that really an excuse? Should that be a pass? ABSOLUTELY NOT! Not only is this extremely offensive and disrespectful, the timing in which it was distributed is the ultimate slap in the face. Sure, he can say he "didn't mean for it to be offensive" but does that just make it ok? If I name him, then I'm a part of "Cancel Culture", but shouldn't the people who think like this be held accountable and not be able to sweep it under the rug with a cursory apology?
There is no way that I could ever prepare myself for attending a PWI instead of the HBCU that was recommended to me...at times it seems that the sentiment is that I should just be grateful to be here, and not make any waves, BUT I'm just not built that way. I called it out last time, and I will call it out every single time. I'll be that Angry Black Woman if that's what it takes to make a change. I'll be that voice that screams at the top of my lungs at every injustice so that the ones that come after me don't have to. This blog may not change anything, but it is my voice, and my voice will never be silenced. Silence in the face of injustice is complicity with the oppressor. -Ginetta Sagan