As a young child, my parents instilled a solid work ethic and introduced me to setting goals. 18 years later I am so very thankful! Initially I wasn’t very receptive. I didn’t understand why my friends didn’t have chores and I had quite a bit of them. My parents would always tell me, “I know this isn’t fun, but it’s necessary.” I would always just laugh and continue on working.
Many years later, as I began my freshmen year in high school, I felt prepared. I knew that I would have to work hard and prioritize my time to get my various assignments completed on time. During one of my English classes we were assigned to do a lengthy project over the course of a few months. It came time to present and address the class with what we had completed for the assignment. The order of presentations was a random selection of the teacher. I was assigned to finish up the first day of presentations. I gave my presentation and after class I had another student ask, “Who are you trying to impress?” At first I was confused and asked him what he meant. He continued on to say, “Your White, you don’t have to do so much” I then asked, “What does that have to do with anything?” He responded quickly saying, “You could have just done a simple project like everyone else.” So i asked, “What does me being white have to do with it, though?” He proceeded to mention that because I was white that I would already be favored by the teacher. This shocked me. Before high school I was sheltered at a private school.
This was the first time, Race and Ethnicity actually presented itself in my life, and it was in a brute fashion. After this initial experience I began to hear this phrase more often and in a wide range of settings. Very little details about me or the way that I do things has attracted the attention of various people groups, and their attitude hasn’t always been so “kind” towards me because “Im white”.