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Being White in Philly

Being White in Philly

Mar 19, 2013


The Article Being White in Philly has forced the nation to discuss race relations again. After reading this article, I had this overwhelming feeling of anger. That feeling you had after watching “Roots” for the first time. It seems he only talked to the racist white people of Philly. Robert Huber, the author, is totally clueless regarding the African-American community and didn’t bother interviewing any African-Americans. The white people he interviewed are just as clueless as he is. See an example below:

“Take a young woman I’ll call Susan, whom I met recently. She lost her BlackBerry in a biology lab at Villanova and Facebooked all the class members she could find, “wondering if you happened to pick it up or know who did.” No one had it. There was one black student in the class, whom I’ll call Carol, who responded: “Why would I just happen to pick up a BlackBerry and if this is a personal message I’m offended!” Susan assured her that she had Facebooked the whole class. Carol wrote: “Next time be careful what type of messages you send around and what you say in them.” After that, when their paths crossed at school, Carol would avoid eye contact with Susan, wordless. What did I do? Susan wondered. The only explanation she could think of was Vanilla-nova—the old joke about the school’s distinct lack of color, its perceived lack of welcome to African-Americans. Susan started making an effort to say hello when she saw Carol, and eventually they acted as if nothing had happened. The BlackBerry incident—it probably goes without saying—was never discussed.”


Why didn’t the author contact “Carol” for more information? I’m sure there were some things omitted from this situation. I guess the author chose to take Susan’s word as gold. That’s “white privilege” for you! A similar incident happened to myself and other African-American  classmates. When I was a freshman in high school, I was on the yearbook committee. There were about 20 people on the committee and 5 of them were black. One of the white students lost her project and she was very upset about it. The next day, our yearbook committee mentor called myself and all of the other African-American students in another room to question us about the missing project! Someone told her that we were the last seen near her project. Needless to say, we were upset about this. She just took someone else’s word! I remember all of us marching to the front office complaining but nothing ever came of it. Later, her project was found in her cubby space behind other things. We never received an apology. I’ll never forget that and other racist things I’ve witnessed or endured.

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