First Year

Exploratory Studies

Black

“While I am very tolerant of ignorant remarks and comments, at Purdue there have been glaring moments where I couldn’t help but be offended or take note at the comments and actions of others around me. Below are some of the moments.

1) Around 11pm, I am walking to a friends dorm. I was listening to music and overall appeared nonchalant and nondistinct. At this point in the night, an odd amount of traffic was moving back and forth on the street I was walking on (Wiley Corec area). Suddenly, a pickup truck full of white males pulled up next to me where they proceeded to yell racial slurs at me and told me to stop “stealing their women”. I replied “Who me? Which women where?” and they continued to call me racial slurs then drove away. I never saw them again after that.

2) Again walking to a friend’s house, this time around Waldron with a white friend. As I was walking by a frat house whom I’d had no previous history or problems with, various people were loitering outside who i assumed were brothers of the house. Before I had a chance to walk by the house, a number of the brothers approached me and tried to lecture me about private property and how they didn’t want me around their house, clearly letting my friend walk by. I continued to walk around their house without stepping foot on their property while they followed me until I was clearly far away from their house.

3) I am the sole African American in all of my classes except one. In one of these classes for a week and a half, a white male found himself compelled to call me and others around me racial slurs to see how I and others reacted. I didn’t report him, but the first moment I called him out, he claimed he could say them because “my black friends always say it, so why can’t I?” After that incident, he avoided me and I haven’t talked with him since.

Other minor incidents have happened, such as being told how thankful I should be for affirmative action, being let into parties and told “we need someone to dance for us” and being told to report myself when public alerts of burglary are sent out. The above three are just my standout three incidents, and I hope that with my story being shared, these incidents don’t repeat themselves both in experience, and in any other POCs experience of Purdue.”

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