But It Wasn't The First Time. By: Aaron VanBuren

Aaron VanBuren                                                                                       9/23/11                                   

               But this wasn’t the first time.


I never felt hurt over the way I looked. But one day, getting lost on the way home was a rude awakening to a problem that is still around. It was the first or second month of high school and I was still new to the route leaving to go to school and coming home from school. I got on the wrong bus, the 26 instead of the 20 and I got nervous with butterflies in my stomach and eyes tearing up, for no reason, so I didn’t ask the bus drive if this is the right route to take to get to Buslten and Comly. Calling my mom, worried, lost of course, but not scared, I started to walk in the direction of my house and needed a little help to exactly find the street I was on, I was ignorant to the fact that I have never seen such a beautiful place to live. I saw a lady who seemed quite friendly so I asked her “Can you direct me to Buslten?” and she ran from me. The thoughts that ran through my head, A BIG BLACK KID with a school bag, manners, and who was about 10 feet away walking towards her, what made her run?


But this wasn’t the first time.


            Living in Philadelphia you meet a variety of diverse Philadelphians but also a variety of diverse tourist. They may hear different things about African Americans who live here and assume they all act out in a way of violence. When they see me they look scared and ready to jump out of their shadows and run away. Don’t get me wrong there are some non-races diverse human beings. For example, most of my teachers have been and will be more Caucasians than any other race. I have had roughly less than 10 teachers of my own race. The reason I think that is because a lot of us dream about progressing out by playing basketball, football, rapping and singing. Even thought some progress out of Philadelphia with basketball, football, rapping and singing. Yes, some make it but the ratio for one person making it is One in a Million. Basketball, football, rapping and singing are much harder jobs then any nine to five job.


One saying I like to use is “Don’t judge a book by its cover”. The meaning of this phrase is don’t assume that you won’t like a person because of the way they look. Racism dates back to the Africans being enslaved, The Holocaust and other events in history. People like Martin Luther King Junior, Rosa parks, Malcolm X, President John F. Kennedy. They fought for us to be able to live without fear. They marched for freedom and three of the leaders I mentioned were shot dead because of the movement behind one person’s thought. To me, racism is the ignorant judgments by one person taught to another.


I walk into stores and am profiled because I am a young African American male. To some people I am intimidating because I am big for my age, well, weight wise and height wise not so much. I try to fit into different crowds of people because when I get older I want to become a government agent, so I might have to go undercover. I’m not as affected as much as I would a long time ago. But I still feel some type of way.


I know that I will always be profiled or be expected another type of racism. I wish that we as human beings could see ourselves as one race. If that ever happen all the great leaders who fought for us all to be equal will turn over in their graves and rejoice. This world will never be perfect so I will live day by day and learn from the lessons taught to me in everyday life. First Lesson Racism Is Still Part Of Every Day Life! But this won’t be the last time.