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Racism is real but it has become "normal" and misconstrued

1. I was born in 1989

2. I was raised in Jacksonville, FL

3. I identify myself as an African American

4. One of my first encounters of racism was actually not directed towards me but to my brother. We were in the grocery store and he was holding bags of groceries. A white woman walked past him and when she did, she clutched her purse. Now understand that my brother is tall, has tattoos and was wearing a tank top during the time of us being in the grocery store. At first (being uneducated on race issues), I just simply said this is racism without knowing why. It wasn't until I took Dr. Wilder's Racial & Cultural Minorities class at UNF I was able to tie the "why" to my thought that, that was racist. See that white lady assumed because my brother was covered in tattoos, black and tall (and a little muscular) he was going to try and take her purse.

Currently, I deal with racism on my job. I work with this Romanian woman who makes little sly remarks about African Americans. The problem is she's too comfortable doing it. For example, she asked me was the singer Mya of mixed race or is she "all black." Of course I knew why she was asking but I asked "why." She said, "Because of her hair, just kidding." I responded, "No you're not." I proceeded to let her know I was offended by her comment. She did apologize but this wasn't her first time making a remark such as this. I think now-a-days white people have become so comfortable with making racial comments because we as black people laugh it off so there is no confrontation. Or what we do is assume that what isn't racist, is racist. For example, if a white person disagrees with what a black person says or does, we automatically assume that white person's is racist instead of listening to that person's feelings on why he or she disagrees.

Of course I believe racism is real but it has become so "normal" and misconstrued due to the lack of knowledge that we confuse what is racism and what isn't racism.