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  • Racism means... basically like.....

  • A large part of a race feels that they're superior to another race.

  • And so... and so not only do they believe that, but they act on it.

  • Examples will be... in class, sometimes I'll be the only black kid.

  • And we read a book like... you know Huck Finn.

  • And there's that uncomfortable moment.

  • The... "magic word" come up.

  • And people will look at you and like, "What's his reaction?" Things like that.

  • I was walking home from school with this one white girl and....

  • We just gone off the bus and we were about to... we were almost home.

  • And there's this group of black kids like, had just gone out of school.

  • And she was like, "Oh let's cross the street. It's a group of black kids. I don't want to run into them."

  • And, so she told me!

  • Which I don't even know why she would do that.

  • I used to a sweat band just to reinforce my wrist.

  • I had a teacher come up to me and said,

  • "You should take it off because it looks gang affiliated"

  • I have been in situations where, you know, I had to cross the street.

  • Because I didn't want to scare the white lady that was walking.

  • I would actually... it would get to a point where I would start to count.

  • How many times a woman would clutch her bag.

  • When I was 16, I was leaving my mom's house.

  • In my pajamas which had snowmen on them um...with my brother, and...

  • We were actually stopped by the police, rather aggressively.

  • I've been stopped by the cops on my way between classes.

  • Because we have two separate buildings walking from one building to the other building

  • As my white students in the same class walk by me.

  • It's kind of upsetting, because...

  • We live in a world where my mom has to be afraid when I walk outside

  • From the people that are like... meant to protect me.

  • And I just... I don't like when my mother feels like that.

  • You know, I love my mother.

  • She should always... I want her to always be happy.

  • You know I... walk tall. I keep my head up.

  • Very... you know, try to be very articulate and...and polite.

  • And so of course, I was like, OK I'm...I'm gonna be fine because I act a certain way, and...

  • Of course that has absolutely nothing to do with it.

  • People... the way people perceive you... you know, it's not up to you.

  • My parents taught me, oh you know...

  • "Cops are your friends. You're supposed to know they're here to protect you."

  • But all I'm seeing is the opposite.

  • So how can I not be afraid when I feel like I'm being hunted?

  • When I feel like I'm there to fill a quota?

  • We are in a so called "free society".

  • And as a black man, we literally don't feel free.

  • We don't know what "freedom" is.

  • Every time when we're killed, the first thing you see on the news is...

  • Oh, criminal record or something like that. So...

  • From the second... the bullet hits us.

  • Already we're starting to be dehumanized.

  • With black people like myself, we don't get as many chances as...as...as they do.

  • So you have to be aware. You have to watch out.

  • You can't mess up.

  • This is an extremely emotionally-taxing process for me in terms of coming in terms with...

  • Maybe the nature of...of racism in my own life, entered in this country, in this world.

  • If you wait until somebody's 12, 13, 14 to put that on them...

  • It's...it's really... it can be really difficult.

  • My dad... he's just like the honest one, he's like, "Listen, son," like...

  • "There are things... and this world... like you have to...you kind of have to watch out."

  • He doesn't want me to live in fear.

  • But he wants me to be aware.

  • I want people to know that I'm perfectly fine.

  • I'm not gonna hurt anybody or do anything bad.

  • I should be judged about...like...who I...who I am.

  • And like, what kind of person I am.

  • My parents would tell me, mostly my mom, she would tell me...

  • "You have to endure. You have to muscle through it."

  • And like... this is no different.

  • It's part of being a person of color in America.

  • And there is a certain comfortability associated with that.

  • Because if I know, if something is inevitable, then I know how to deal with it.

  • Fortunately, I've had parents who have said, "This is what you do."

  • Mom and dad, I'll be fine because you did a good job raising me.

  • You gave me all the resources, the time, the blood, sweat and tears.

  • To make me a good man, an honorable man, and...

  • The foundation to survive in this country.

  • I want you to know that, I will act in an appropriate manner.

  • And do everything that you told me to do.

  • Because I do love you.

  • And I know that everything you say is not "for a reason", and not just to talk the talk.

  • And I love you.

Racism means... basically like.....

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A2 US TheNewYorkTimes black mom racism walking people

A Conversation About Growing Up Black | Op-Docs | The New York Times

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    VoiceTube posted on 2015/06/24
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