My mother always tells me “respect in this world is earned, for people to respect you, you are going to have to earn it.”
As I have pointed out before I am a very unique creature at the faculty of Medicine here in Tegus.I am one of the few black people that have graced the halls of this faculty and the only one in my current class. It is funny how people always ask me where I am from because it is obvious I am not from here. Most of the times I really don’t mind it. I like being different, I like the interesting conversations and relationships this entails.
But because I am so unique people sometimes say things that are rather offensive like when my neuro proffesor says, referring to a classmate, he couldn’t be dumber if he was blacker. This of course implying that black people are stupid. Or a classmate making fun of a black cadaver. Most of this of course just flies over my head and I don’t pay it much attention. But I have had two experiences lately that have caused me to pause for thought.
One is, my Macro proffesor from the very first day of class I got the sence that he thought I was stupid, he treated me that way and really acted right away like I was the weak link in the class. All my classmates noticed it and treated me that way too. Since I had never taken a class with him before I had to assume this was because I am black. I had two options I could complain about it or I could prove him wrong so for a couple weeks I worked very hard to learn as much as I could. On test day I scored highest in the class. My proffesor was visible shocked and impressed ” he said Nate you have proved me wrong. Continue proving people wrong and you will get very far.”
Now I have no problem with this proffesor or my classmates they all respect me and treat like what I am, one of the smartest people in the program. Respect earned!
The other, I was walking with my class of about 20 people into the hospital the back entrance is small so only one person can past at a time. I was about the 7th person in the row when the guard stopped me and asked for student I.D, seven people passed before me none got asked, the rest passed after me none got asked both my friends and I thought this was rather odd. We got to a second guarded entry before we could get to the classroom same thing happened again! Now I have other black people talk about being targeted like this but had never experienced myself. In fact I always thought surely it must be the way some dress or something. But I was not dressed any different than my classmates, no hoddy, no baggy clothes, none of it, the only different thing about me was that I am black.
I shared this on Facebook and my friend tricia said “stuff happens.” and shared with me her experience of being I.D ed on campus, I do not know why she was I.D ed but surely it was not because she is black, because she isn’t. I love Tricia she helps me somuch with her comments on Facebook.
The truth is as we are going thru life we are going to find some pretty ignorant people and we can complain, we can kick the crap out of them but at the end of the day respect is earned. We have to prove people wrong all the bigots all the racist and all our haters.
I have me a pencil, some paper and a group of people who are giving time and money for me to be here. Respect is something you earn and I am out to earn mine. I will prove the racist the bigots and the haters wrong with God’s help.