9 February 2018
Not Your Typical Racism
Growing up in Galloway Township, New Jersey, going to school was more than
just a daily task. Being a predominately African American school, a small white kid like
me was made an outcast in all sorts of ways. I was picked on because of my style of
clothing and shoes, or for not being in fights and doing drugs, and even because of the
color of my skin. Racism is typically associated from white to black and may be
controversial to some, but racism can apply to all types of people picking on one group
of individuals just for being who they are. I went mad, it made me contradict everything I
ever said, wore or did. It just wasn't a healthy lifestyle. Friends wouldn't associate with
me, my appetite diminished and worst of all, my grades were in the trash. Those kids
weren't my worst enemy, it was only myself to blame. In the essay, Dark Waters by
Yusef Komunyakaa, he makes solid points of racism in Louisiana and not allowing that
fear to take over him. Taking away from this essay is very hard hitting, it shows me that
Racism can affect all people from all walks of life.
It was hard to understand as a kid in middle school why I was getting picked on. I
was not a nerd, playing sports was a very big hobby all of my life. In Dark Waters
Komunyakaa says, “ We must pay dues to ourselves and each other” (121).
Komunyakaa and many other african americans had to go through these problems all
the time. They did not get to choose the color of their skin, and they didn’t get to choose
where they were born or who they are going to be, but this is the most influential thing a
person can go through. You can make yourself a better person if you can shield the
hate being thrown your way. Taking these wise words, I understand why it happened to
me. I was different. Being in the middle class, I was raised in a nice home with a pool
while most of the kids in my school lived in townhouses and small apartments and were
unable to experience the quality of life I did. Komunyakaa explains to us it is because
we are different. Because we are not like them, people are not going to like us. It is
human nature. And if we can brush this to the side, we are the stronger person.
“Nature loves and makes you love. Perhaps we haven't learned natures greatest
instruction: we are connected. Everything’s connected” (118). Komunyakaa at this point
in his essay is explaining about his escape from the racism. He fell hard during the civil
rights movement living in Bogalusa. Nature was his only way out. “It was the engine of
my imagination” (118). Komunyakaa explains...