Hi Everyone. My name is Scott and usually this is my platform for talking about mecha anime I like, some interesting things I’ve noticed about anime and want to talk about, and even some manga sometimes. This is an anime blog after all. I’m not doing that today. Black Lives Matter is fully supported here. Thanks to the Covid-19, the death of George Floyd from strangulation for nine minutes, the United States is on fire and it’s broken insides and injustices barely under the skin of this country has been revealed to all of us.
People are in the streets and protesting for their rights against police brutality and the social injustices of colored people in the United States. We’ve seen the largest amount of people in the streets in ages. While I haven’t been protesting because I am a coward, I’ve been doing what I can on my part. Donating where I can to places I believe should need money, sharing these posts online, and such. It doesn’t feel like that much to me, but I don’t feel like anything I can do will ever be enough.
It’s taken me a while to get to this point where I completely understand how privileged I am as a white male in this country. I’ve lived in a small town made mostly out of white people in Western Washington all my life. There were people of color in my schools, but nothing major. Then again, I’ve always been oblivious to how people treat other people and I never had to be checked by it. When asked the diversity question on my college application, I didn’t have an answer. How could I answer when I didn’t truly or understand it to any complete level.
I didn’t even see facial injustice myself when I got my bachelor’s degree. The University I went to was a small college town made out of white people. You can walk around the town tipsy at night, which I’ve done a few times here and there, and nothing bad would threaten you because it’s a nice college town. It didn’t help that all of my friends were also all white people. I just lived my peaceful, ignorant life and never questioned it at all. God, I was so privileged.
It took until me going after my master’s degree until I was awoken to it. I went to graduate school in a city in the Midwest. I went from a blue state to a red state on the bible belt. The school itself was a land grant school built on cheap land. It was surrounded by grave yards and immediately to the south of the school was the poor district of the city. There was a gas station that you shouldn’t be at around 2 am at night because who knows what happens. It wasn’t until I took my walks about the park south of campus, because I lived right on the border, that I saw that the poor area was mainly populated with Black people. That and one racist old man telling me about how Black People lived south of the university when I was on vacation in L.A. Not surprises there I suppose. None of this felt right.
The real awakening for me was one summer when I was working on campus during the summer where I lived in the Student Apartments. So basically, I never went off campus. This was also the summer where the punch game made the news. The news where you were asked a question and were punched in the face. I was a victim to that. One day, two Black teens wandered by my student apartments as I was heading back from work and I got punched in the first. One of my front teeth ended up broken because of it.
At first, I was just mad. I wanted vengeance for this. Then some more thoughts occurred to me. I was taken to the hospital in a ambulance and returned to campus in a police car after being looked at at the hospital. I was also under my parents health at that point. I was just about to fly home for a month before school started anyway because I was in my early 20’s, so I went to the dentist and got my false tooth put in. I don’t think many Black People in that city are able to afford that kind of medical care. That was a small wake up call to an ignorant white person who hasn’t seen anything wrong with this country until that point. It took me until my early 20’s for me to even realize that.
Guys, don’t be ignorant like me. Don’t make it take you this long to figure out that people are people no matter who they are and who they want to be in the future. Don’t make it take you this long for you to consider that every single human being on this planet, no matter where they came from, deserve the same rights and privileges of the highest privileged person in the United States and the world itself. While I don’t think the master’s degree I got is worth anything at all at this point from a job level, I do think the life of experience I got from staying in that city for a number of years was incredibly valuable to defining whom I am now. A person who wants people to be equal and happy.
This post was inspired by the stories that Simply Gee shared about her family on twitter living in NC during the 1990’s. They are horrifying, but I am glad that Simply Gee shared them. Please look up her twitter because she is a great manga collector with a good manga based podcast I like listening to.