Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together In the Cafeteria?

Wednesday, August 1, 2007 | 12:00 a.m. CDT; updated 4:28 p.m. CDT, Saturday, July 19, 2008

It’s a proven fact that most students self-segregate based on race. Don’t Believe me? Go look. Black kids sit with Black kids. White kids with White kids. Latinos with Latinos. But why? This is 2007! Shouldn’t we be past this by now? Why can’t we be totally integrated without compulsion?

Because it’s uncomfortable. Most people act according to their race. Yes, there is a way to “act Black.” Communities have been largely segregated since the beginning of the U.S.A. This has allowed races to develop a unique culture. When children are born, raised, and dwell in that culture, then they will act accordingly. In 2007, this is no different. Black People have been raised in Black culture, and they will act like it. White kids don’t act like that. If Jamal is the only person that looks and acts like him around, then Jamal is going to be uncomfortable, and he will probably take steps to alter his behavior. That means Jamal will have to constantly watch what he sas, what he does, and how he does both. Jamal is in high school, remember? He has enough on his mind without worrying about his grammar.

Also, Jamal is racist. Yes, he is racist. He was born in America, raised on American values; the dude is racist. Every American is, and Jamal is no exception. Jamal does not like White people. Not in a way that he believes that he is better than White people or that he wants them all dead; he would just prefer not to deal with them. We’ve already established that he is more uncomfortable around them, but add to that the fact that his white peers are just as racist as he is, and that they, too, are uncomfortable, and, suddenly, a whole lot of discomfort is present.

So, then, we’ve established why Black kids don’t sit at the White table. But why don’t the White kids join their Black peers? They’ve the same two reasons as Jamal, but they have the added pressure of having to be saintly so as to dispel the myth that they are all Bull Connors. For example, let’s say that Dexter is sitting around a bunch of Black people, and one of them says something stupid and ignorant. Can Dexter call him on it? Hell no! If Dexter says “ign—“ then he will immediately be called a racist, even though the Black person was clearly deserving of the name “ignoramus.” Dexter has to act like everything Black people say is AOK, just because they’re Black. High school students don’t need that kind of stress! Dexter is just gonna avoid the whole situation. He can tell his White friends that they’re idiots.

So, then, Black people don’t like spending time with White people, and White people don’t like spending time with Black people. Where is the solution. When can people finally lay down their races and live amongst the group that best complements their mind, as opposed to their appearance?

When everyone stops being so damn defensive. Black people need to stop pulling the race card just because they can. That is neither productive nor entertaining, so stop it! White people need to stop being afraid of being called a racist and say what needs to be said. When there is an open forum for discussion, then there can be progress. The thing that both sides need to remember is this: it’s not about you; this is about us, as a community, as a race, as a people, as some people, as people.

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