Living As A Person Of Color In America

Troy Peterson, Reporter

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Although our nation has come far from segregation, people still experience classification and discrimination. “I was in a store and the employees were staring at me like I was doing something wrong,” said Cristina Camacho.
Even if it’s not directly racist, the environments created can be uncomfortable, such as purposely trying too hard to not act racist, or being friends with someone specifically because of their skin color, or acting “color blind” and refusing to acknowledging people being themselves.
“The way I dress, sometimes people look at me differently, like if I wear sweats and a hoodie with my hair up people will stare at me,” said junior Cristina Camacho.
Even the way people of color or people in general dress leads people to make assumptions on what type of person they are and it is put under a magnifying glass for people of color
“Not necessarily my skin, it’s more the way I look, like the first thing people ask me is what race are you?” said Sophia Fox, a senior and a Hawaiian native.
Seeing somebody is not being “Blind to skin color,” it’s more genuine to be friends with someone you like hanging out with not to be cool because you have friends of different skin color.
“People who aren’t white think I’m white and people who are white think I’m white,” said Fox.
Walking into a room with predominantly white people is awkward because it’s known that you’re there, it’s not that you’re not wanted there, it’s that you’re judged harshly because it feels like they see that your skin is brown and treat it almost like a handicap.
In this era direct discrimination is hardly ever come across, it’s more of a type of awkwardness created between races. However, it is still predominantly whites that create the weirdness between races whether it would be them walking into a room with Hispanics, Native Americans, African Americans or a minority walking into a room full of white people the difference is always known.
If I walk into a store with my friends, the employees are gonna keep a closer eye on us then they would with a group of white teenagers, because they think we are more likely to vandalize or steal.
The divide between the whites and people of color is not just black and white, it’s more than that it is the way we are looked at, encountered, and spoken to.
“With my family I get a lot of interesting looks like out of curiosity like with a slight frown or an eye roll,” said sophomore Andy Gomez.
Not only do we have to change the way we act but our voices and body language and tone of voice or accent so we don’t seem different.
“I don’t wanna give a bad image, cause I think that’s one thing riding on people’s shoulders like if they see one person of an ethnic background and they see them acting badly that’s gonna be their image of it until someone changes it,” said Gomez.