18 Black People Reveal The Most Overtly Racist Thing They've Ever Experienced. This Is Eye-Opening.
Black people of Reddit were asked: "What is the most overt (or offensive) example of racism you have experienced, and where were you when it happened?" These are some of the most heartbreaking answers.
1. I was in Italy on a soccer trip and I was one of 5 black kids on our team. When any of us touched the ball we were taunted with monkey imitations and noises...
2. Most of the racism I've experienced is people saying things like, "you're one of the good ones" or "You don't look like you sound on the phone". The girl I roomed with in college even said, "I was worried when I met you because I thought you'd be like the other black girls."
But the worst was probably the run-in I had with a friend's grandmother. My friend and I were going to a party that was kind of far away, so we decided it would be best to take one car. I told her I'd pick her up at her house. I pull up in the driveway and walk to her front door. An older Hispanic woman answers the door. I smile as I remembered my friend told me her grandmother was coming in town. I introduce myself. As I'm about to say that I was there to pick up my friend, she interrupts me. "We don't want any." She starts to close the door, so I lean forward to try to tell her again that I was there for my friend. She shouts, "We don't want anything!" and slams the door in my face.
I took a step back for about 10 seconds. I assume my friend's mother heard the shouting because I heard footsteps coming down the stairs. Her mother opens the door and says hi. A second later I see my friend's grandmother walking back towards the door. She screams, "You n*ggers and trying to sell things! Go!" and tries to slam the door again. My friend's mother catches the door and starts yelling at her mother-in-law in Spanish. I was so shaken up, I couldn't do anything but stand there.
3. I'm 28 now but when I was a teenager I was followed in stores, harassed by police, and called out of my name on multiple occasions (n*gger, monkey, coon for example). I was an honor roll student that had a job at 16, but I guess that didn't matter.
If I had to pick one story that stands out it would have to be walking home in high school (in Clovis, CA at the time because mom was a recruiter stationed in Fresno) after dark. It was about 10PM and I wasn't doing anything illegal as I was just walking home from a neighbor's house. An officer pulled over out of nowhere, cutting me off, and hopped out of his car like I was some thug. He proceeded to make me take a drunk test then handcuffed me and placed me in the back of his cruiser.
He drove to the address I provided and walked me to the door in cuffs. When my dad opened the door the officer was a bit taken back to see a white man. My dad said, "What are you doing with my son and why is he cuffed?" The officer replied, "He's out late loitering and I wanted to make sure he got home instead of in trouble." My dad asked the officer to quickly walk with him to the end of the street where the local high school's basketball courts were visible. On the basketball courts at that exact moment there were a group of roughly 15 white kids, some playing basketball and others talking in a group. My dad said to the cop, "What about the white kids that are out playing basketball at 11pm some nights at the school? Why don't you cuff them and take them home?"
The officer just uncuffed me and walked away. It was the first time I felt like I was different for being black as I had spent my entire childhood on military bases. My father summed it up by saying, "Welcome to the real world."
4. Riding in a car with my cousin, some cops pull us over and wants to search the car. We were young and just assumed they could do that. He had nothing to hide anyway. They cuffed us and we sat on the side of the curb while they searched. Kept asking us if we had weapons or large amounts of drugs. Only found a little bit of weed. They let us go and said "We're only looking for weapons, large amounts of drugs and gangsters." It was a huge waste of time.
5. I am the youngest of nine adopted children. My parents are white. My adoptive mother would always tell people that "black kids come at a dime a dozen". She adopted us for the subsidy. Terrible mother and childhood.
6. I grew up in a neighborhood that was mostly white, but my group of friends has always been really diverse. I was walking home from one of my friends house pretty late, around 12am, when a squad car pulled up beside me and asked me what I was doing. I simply said I was walking home, they ask me where I live, I point a few houses down the street in this very quiet neighborhood. They then use the "well we've been hearing that there have been potential burglaries going on recently" line. This happened probably five to six times over the course of a year. I was about 14/15 at the time. It just got so annoying to be type casted so early in life.
7. I was married to a white male, when I asked for divorce he said, "You'll be on welfare like all black women. You want to have children with different men to collect government assistance and child support." I have never been on welfare. I have 1 child, he has 4 kids with 3 women.
8. Back in elementary, my teacher set up a reenactment of an 1800's lynching for my birthday and assigned me the role of the black person getting lynched. Since it was a birthday, she thought it'd be funny to double me as a piata (I was covered in blankets) and let the kids hit me with plastic bats as I hung from my harness at the tetherball court.
9. I used to be an assistant manager at Domino's. One day, I took a customer's order and went to the side to start making it. About a minute or so later, that same customer called my co-worker, which I hang out with sometimes,(let's call him John) over and whispered something to him and then left the store. John had a weird look in his face and come over to me and told me that the customer asked him why wasn't I on a leash.
10. Little backstory. A bunch of my friends are Asian so I tend to spend a fair amount of time in China and Korea town in Toronto. You want to feel out of place? Be a 6ft 215lb big, burly black guy in a legit, hole-in-the-wall, Korean restaurant. So this one time we decide to go to our usual Korean BBQ place for dinner. Keep in mind, we've been there countless times before so it's not like this is my first time.
We get (what I assume) to be a new waiter. Judging by his complete lack of an accent I assume he's second generation - so the kid clearly should have known better. From the second we sit down to the literal moment we're out the door, 2 hours later, it's nothing but fried chicken/grape pop/watermellon/(insert black stereotype) jokes and comments. Now, when I go out I tend to code shift hard, it just makes life easier. This is, of course, a nice way of saying that I took all these comments like a b*tch, even tipped the guy guy before I left, all because I didn't want to be that black guy. I honestly felt dirty for the rest of the night.
I've been back a few times since and have yet to see him again. My hope is somebody else, with a spine, got his a** fired for being a complete dick.
11. Once in middle school I spent weeks studying for a spelling bee. It comes down to me and another girl and my teacher who made it clear on how we were treated she didn't think highly of the black students. She just kinda doesn't hear me. I spelled the word right and the class confirmed it. She told me I was wrong and won't be going to the spelling bee for our county. I was heart broken because the girl she said won was in tears because she knew something was wrong.
12. First night in college me and my black friends walked into a college party with nothing but whites. They cut the music off and stared us down until we left. Then immediately turned on rap and started woo hooing when we left. Later that night I had eggs thrown at me by a passing car as some one yellled "oogey boogey n*gger".
13. For me it was in a church in Indiana. I was visiting there for a weekend. Being a Christian, I wanted to go to church on Sunday, so I googled churches and found the nearest one.
Sunday morning. I noticed confused stares as I walked into the building. I was confused myself. When I finally entered the church hall, it slowly dawned on me why. This was a white only church and I was not welcome. I was shocked!!! This church was on a college campus which had people of all races, yet the parishioners by their prejudice had managed to maintain a white only congregation without being vocal or honest about it.
I was already in so I decided to sit through the service. It was uncomfortable! The kids especially didn't hide their shock. They stared, pointed and whispered to their friends the whole time. One of them was surprised I could sing. But they were only kids, so I understood. The adults though...
I rushed out as soon as the service was over. I'm still scarred. I had never really understood racism before this event. I grew up in Africa and was a college student in a major city US where it was very diverse.
14. Having my former supervisor tell me that the reason I didn't get the job the first time around was because our boss wanted to hire the pretty white girl (as opposed to me), and only then hired me because she screwed up so utterly. I spent the first 3 months cleaning up behind her and hearing how "articulate" and "classy" I was from the good ol'boys. And then there was the time one of the VPs asked to touch my hair...
15. 7th grade, Catholic school. Hicksville, Long Island, NY - 1995. 90% of my male classmates, who I was in school with since the 4th grade got together and made a school based hate group: "DFN" or "Death for N*ggers". They spanned several grades, had a logo and artwork and flag. They organized meetings and were linked to their older brothers' gangs that would actively harass Black students and residents in the area. Pre-high school and high school children being shot by drive-by paintball gunners was not uncommon for example, beside the typical daily verbal harassment.
Here's the really racist part: when the school found out, the boys weren't punished. MAYBE they called their parent. myself and my friend, two of three black males in the GRADE, were sent home and unofficially suspended for fear of "retaliation".
16. I was walking down the street minding my own business at like 3pm and some dude shouted "Go home sand n*gger!" That was pretty overt.
17. In Michigan, I live about 30 minutes away from a town called Howell, where allegedly the KKK started. I was hanging out with this girl, that lives there, I met online at her house. Her mom came home and saw me and the first thing that came out of her mouth was "Do you guys smell fried chicken and watermelon". I didn't know what to say...
18. I had never experience racism personally until I got to college. During summer orientation, the incoming freshman slept overnight at the school for two nights. The first night, as I was going to sleep, I heard a group of people outside my window talking about how much they hated n*ggers, and how they hoped they weren't attacked by any.
Then, one night I was partying in the dorms, and as I tried to enter my friends room, his other friend would not let me in and said to me through the door, "We don't want n*ggers like you in here." I punched that dude in the throat, and then walked to a park and cried by myself. That was the first time I had every been personally targeted that aggressively.
Another time, I was stepping off of the elevators in the dorms to go to a different friends room, and as I walked through the hall I passed a door right when someone said, "These guys weren't just black, they were n*ggers." This was my introduction to adulthood...
Breaking up is hard to do.
And when you get the law involved, it's even worse. But sometimes people don't need the law's help to make things overcomplicated, they just have a grand ole time making that happen themselves.
People on the front lines of human cruelty include divorce lawyers. These are their stories.