Dear Queer White People,
I love my school. But sometimes it feels like it puts me at a disadvantage. It always amuses me how many times me or my siblings have to say the name of our schools because people don’t understand that just because it’s not a common school, doesn’t mean that it doesn’t exist. In the case of my sister, the city of the school was built into the name, which made it even more ridiculous when I would hear people ask, “and where is that?” I’ve come to accept that unless you’re a Black person in the South or another person at a Historically Black College or University (HBCU), you just aren’t going to know what or where my school is, or ever understand the history and pride that I hold for it. While I assume everyone has some level of pride and admiration for their respective schools, mine comes from all the trials and tribulations my school had to go through to even become accredited after the abolishment of slavery 150 short years ago. Built on a former slave plantation, my school considers our land to be sacred and our trees hallowed, which was only the start of our uphill battle.
When it comes to employers, they don’t see it that way. They’re busy looking for photocopies of their own employees or Ivy League scholars while we’re regarded with a lack of ambition, a disadvantage to ourselves because we supposedly cannot “integrate ourselves” within the workplace. It’s so clear, after talking to many employers, that they don’t take our studies seriously, thus barring us as viable candidates for any position that we’re trying to apply for. It’s that same fear that causes less and less of our people to apply for HBCUs. It’s that same fear that fuels the hatred we get from people who feel entitled by this country, from those who have the audacity to suggest closing down our gates because we are “reverse racists”. Which is why it’s even worse when we do attend a state school, we get almost the same treatment.
My mother graduated from a state school over seven years ago with an engineering degree, and no one has ever given her a chance. It pains me everyday that my mother with her BS in Computer Science has to work a fulfilment job with an hourly rate just to make enough so she can pay off her loans for that degree. I have memories of my mother doing her homework at the kitchen table with us, her own children, and now, we’re out struggling to find jobs and internships, and she’s still doing the same, all this time later. While the world is changing into a better, more accepting place, the fact remains that Black people still aren’t getting hired. And if we do get hired, we don’t get moved up at the same rate as our coworkers, no matter how hard we try. How are we supposed to prove ourselves if none of us get a chance?