Friday, 12 February 2010
One day, it was a Wednesday as I recall, I was sitting in chemistry class, filling out a lovely worksheet on gas laws. My table partners, Landry, Chris H, and Brandon seemed too occupied in some odd conversations about friendships to realize that the blank worksheets resting on their desks are due by the end of the period.
As soon as I found that the pressure equals to 4.91 atmospheres, at the glory of my founding, I listened in on the boys’ conversation. However, I listened in at the wrong part.
“I would never be friends with a black person,” Brandon proudly and cockily states.
My ears shot up, the pupils in my eyes dilated, and my teeth gritted. “You would never be friends with a black person?” I slowly repeated as if to make sure I heard correctly. Chris and Landry went silent and looked nervous.
Brandon went on, “Yeah, they’re just weird and I don’t like them.”
As these words came out of his little mouth, I weighed my two choices.
Choice A: Pull my fist back and punch his face with all of my force, causing his two front teeth to fly out. As he would be dazed by the pain, I would kick him in the balls… Wait, he doesn’t have any, which was proven by that comment he said. So scratch that, instead of kicking him in the balls, I will punch him in the stomach, causing him to scrunch in pain, turning into fetal position. To finish it up, I would drag his little body into the girl’s bathroom and leave him laying there, writhing in pain.
Choice B: Take a deep breath. Be cool. Finish your chemistry.
Choice B seemed the most practical, so I went with that. But instead of turning to my chemistry worksheet, I calmly said to that little boy, “My dad is black.”
Brandon nervously laughed and said, “Haha. Yeah, right.”
Chris turned to him and quietly said, “Yes he is.”
Brandon’s face turned the color of a grapefruit and his eyes shot down on the floor, avoiding any eye contact with me. Then, as if on cue, the bell rings and Brandon storms out of the classroom.
Now Brandon’s comment about not liking black people caught me aghast. I thought that racism in United States was something in the past, something that only senior citizens would participate in. Especially growing up in Washington State, nobody seemed to look at your skin color or make a comment about it.
Now, in China, a little white Texan boy crushed my utopian thought that racism was a thing of the past.
Hearing Brandon announce his dislike for black people, my next thought was, What did black people do to him?
Of course, Brandon is from Texas, maybe it’s just the whole Southern idea? After all, they did lose the Civil War. But Dustin is from Texas too. Chris is not from Texas but he is a Southern boy from Louisiana. Landry is from Georgia, which qualifies as the South. So many of my friends are Southerners but I have never heard them utter anything about disliking black people.
Or maybe Brandon is just a plain asshole?
I guess I’ll never know why Brandon, a sixteen-year old boy, doesn’t like black people. But I know that his comment hurt me, even though I am not black but my step-dad is, and I truly wish he hasn’t said that.
Do you think that these racist remarks come from the family?