User Post: RACISM—from my daughter's point of view

I am in no way shape or form going to pretend I know what discrimination is or feels like. My daughter wrote an interesting letter though that I would like to share:


Growing up in a small (very very small) farming community in SE Colorado, my exposure to various cultural differences was somewhat limited. We have several Latino families, some that are migrant workers, some permanent and undocumented families and some that have been part of this community for a long time. We have very few African American families, as in one. I have "seen" it (racism) and never had the balls to stand up for it but something happened Saturday that I will not forget. Maybe this is one way I can.

Hundreds of students drove to Dallas from Canyon Texas for the WTAMU and Kingsville football game at Cowboys stadium. We were in a group of rowdy college kids who follow our Buffs with a passion. This means we stand up-and most of us stand up for the whole game. "We" refers to my caucasion female friend and my African American guy friend.

There happened to be an adult woman seated in amongst all of us college kids. First, she didn't seem happy at all about that. Second, she happened to be sitting right behind me. She was being very rude and wanting us (because we were the ones in front of her) to sit down so she could take photos. Well, if we were to sit down, we couldn't see the game for the people in front of us. Finally I told her there would be plenty of seats outside of the student section if she didn't want to stand up. The woman proceeded to go tell security.

Now, here is the kicker: She told security that it was my guy friend, you know the African American, that had been rude and "got up in her face" called her a b---- etc. Which is the furthest thing from the truth-it was me refusing to sit down. The SAD and disgusting part to me is that when security came over, they told HIM he had to leave. There was no finding out the other side of the story. There was no just escort the lady out of the rowdy student section to somewhere she could sit down-no other solutions at all. A false accusation against a African American college student instead of the middle class girls.

Now my friend is one of the nicest and most polite guys I have ever been around. The look of dejection and just acceptance of "the way it is" broke my heart. My feeling of "better just go along with it" makes me angry in retrospect.I also felt helpless, like it wouldn't matter what I said at that point. In fact, he said "It's cool, I'll just go" so we all did-we all just left. Having been in situations where you try to explain a situation (the other side) to law enforcement or security has always been futile in my experience.

I have so many questions now. Questions about myself as a person, questions about what my non-caucasion friends have had (and still have) to deal with. I thought we were moving past the "race" issue? (obviously naïve on my part). Why was he (and us) not given a chance to explain our side of things? Does this really still go on that much? How should I have dealt with it-should I have stood up to security and risked going to jail? As a middle class Caucasian, I have always been taught to respect authority and don't make waves. I love my friend to death and the look on his face broke my heart. "It's always our fault" why? Why does this still go on? What can =I= do to change it?