Institutional Racism IS having a 8am class that you didn’t read the lesson topic for in advance, and finding out that it’s African American Vernacular English and slightly sinking into your seat with emotions of dread.
Institutional Racism IS having that moment of dread because you fear having conversations surrounding Erasure, Code-switching, Ethnicity, and the ways people of colour speak in predominantly white spaces.
Institutional Racism IS being required to watch videos mocking a vernacular that you heavy identify with and use.
Institutional Racism IS also looking at racist posters (there were muthafucking golliwogs my nigga!!) depicting the implausibility of someone who does not speak standard lexicon being employed as anything other than a pimp.
Institutional Racism IS then being asked to analyse racist YouTube comments stating “These niggerz just can’t talk properly because they’re ignorant and ghetto” as par for the course, because you know what’s your problem it’s just a word.
Institutional Racism IS the fact that these discussions, in an academic setting are for me not even necessarily a massive problem, but that at 8 o’clock on a Monday morning my black arse would’ve appreciated a trigger warning to prepare myself.
Institutional Racism IS needing to take a walk, put in your headphones and blast ‘Don’t touch my hair’ at full volume to stop yourself from screaming.
Institutional Racism IS now being weighed down by this for the rest of the day, cause as I am sitting here typing this in all the feels, everybody else has merrily skipped along with nary a concern.
Institutional Racism IS suffering from depression and actually trying to practice Self-Care & Mental-Wellness, but stepping outside your room everyday is seeming counterproductive to that.
Bruh I’m Tired!!
*The video, posters, and YouTube comments were public responses to the Oakland school board discussion: The Ebonics debate of 1996-97.
[Featured Image: Meme of Robert Downey Jr in the film Tropic Thunder wearing black-face with the caption “This would be racist if black people could Read”]
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