SWR 250 Moyo
Assignment #2 Self Awareness Exercise
I became aware of my identity when I was five years old in pre-kindergarten. I went to a catholic school that consisted of mostly whites. My best friend at the time was a white girl named Mallory Myers. We hung out all the time and stayed the night at each other’s homes. This one particular day Mallory had a birthday party/sleepover. I was the first person to arrive. Other parents started to drop off their children. Two of the parents saw me there and I overheard them say, “what’s that black girl doing here?” Mallory’s mom starting talking to them and the next thing I knew my daddy was at the front door telling me to get my things. I did not understand what was going on at the time, but I did not ask my dad any questions on the way home and he was silent the entire time. When I returned to school, Mallory was looking sad, I asked, “what’s wrong with you?” She replied, “my mommy said I can’t play with you anymore, she said you’re black and we can’t play together anymore.” It was that day, I realized that the color of my skin mattered. Although I was young, I felt pain behind that incident.
The dimension of diversity that I have difficulty accepting in other people is sexual orientation. I know that I should not feel differently and judge people who are homosexuals, but I do feel that it is wrong. I am a firm believer in God and my belief is that homosexuality is against God’s will. We all do things that are wrong at times, but I would never want anyone justifying my wrong-doing. I do not treat them any differently, but some of the judgments that I make is that homosexuals should not be allowed to marry or be in position at church. I had to realize that I am supposed to love and respect them just like anyone else. They want to be treated equally just like blacks want to have equality with whites. The dimension that has had an impact on my life would have to be race. Working with and attending school with people of other races and ethnicities have helped me tremendously.
In the documentary film “skin deep”, some of the students fell into what I call a “trap”. They could only go by and feel what they experienced in their life. Their family had certain values and beliefs. One of the students called blacks “niggers” just because her friends did. Another white student admitted to calling blacks “niggers”, which a lot of whites will not admit to it. One of the students went on to say that people are affected by internalized racism. Having a racist attitude against people of your own race can happen. In the film, a student said that white were taught that they were better than everyone else. One thing that made sense to me that the white boy emphasized is, do not categorize all white people, if you are going to say that you hate racism. All whites are not bad, just like all blacks are not bad. One of the black students said that he can go rob a bank or shoplift and everyone will think that is how all blacks are. One of the black female students was upset, because she wanted the white students to admit that even if they were not the ones that participated in being racist, they are still benefiting from it.
Diversity to me means