Whoa whoa whoa, no black people in the front row. C’mon man.. you know this…
This was a comment left on a Facebook photo of my 17-year-old brother, who shares my mother but has a different father, who is black. The photo was taken at what looks like a school pep rally. I don’t know if the person who left this comment is a real friend of my brother’s, or just a Facebook friend, but to an outsider of that group the comment didn’t look friendly at all. My gut took it as a racial microaggression, but I don’t have the context to know the relationship my brother has with this person or what all was in play.
It’s keeping me up tonight because although my brother is 6’5” and has more than enough friends who have his back, I still want to kick this guy’s ass. But I’m not there, I have never had any conversations about race with my younger siblings, and I just don’t know what they encounter on a day to day basis or what their coping mechanisms are if and when they do experience aggression against them because of their race. It’s still my battle, however, as it should be for anyone who wants to live morally.
But moreso because that’s my little brother there. And after him it’ll be my little sisters and other little brother. They get to have the mother at home raising them unlike my childhood when she was a single mother working nights. I get to have the unquestionably white skin. I’m sure they have a lot of support at home but who is going to tell them that there’s even something called racial microaggression—a concept anyone who has experience can readily understand—and who’s going to tell them why the behavior is so bad?
I know they don’t teach that in school, even though he goes to a Catholic school and they’re supposed to teach kids how to be kind to one another. Still I know this asshole is going to get away with this, as will anyone who doesn’t get called out on this behavior.