Mistrusting Black Students

As part of the stereotypical belief that black people are bad and commit crime at a higher rate than white people, black students so often have to deal with the mistrust that comes with simply being black.

When petty crimes occur on campus, so often are black students at the scene of the crime blamed, either externally by campus police themselves, or internally within the minds of people there (who are too afraid to come out and accuse the black students outright).

Even within the comfort of your dorm room in which you would assume that your dorm mates know you well enough to trust you, that is often not the case. I have personally witnessed people from my dorm leaving their laptops out in the lounge with white students present while they went to the bathroom. However, when it was only me and my black friends from another dorm across campus, they would make sure to take their laptop back to their room before going to the bathroom, and then bringing their laptop back out afterwards.

There are such small things to them, but in reality they are significant micro-aggressions for black students everywhere. And all of it is based in misguided stereotypes that haven’t been true for the majority of America in years.

Even when we walk and talk without any black undertones, and convey a sense of belonging to the white culture that is equivalent to acceptable “American” culture, there are still way too many times when we do not get the trust and respect that we deserve. Even everyday tasks like buying my morning coffee have been a struggle, with some baristas asking whether that was really my coffee that I was picking up at the counter – one time I even had to show them my ID to show that the name on the cup matched my ID! How ridiculous is that???

In the short-term, there is almost nothing we can do as black students to stop the widespread mistrust towards us. But hopefully those underlying racist attitudes will slowly disappear over time and we can live out our lives without irrational trust issues from our peers and the public in general.

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