by Sheldon Moore
I am a current sophomore at the University of Georgia and out of my two years on this campus I have never experienced someone being racially disrespectful until recently.
It was a regular school day and I decided to study in MLC. An older white man came into my study room and said my friend and I had to leave because he is teaching a class there.
Knowing for a fact that MLC doesn’t hold lectures the study rooms, I was raised with respect so I did not question him… my friend however did. The man responded by saying, “Well I can go to the desk and ask if you don’t believe me.” Before we got the chance to respond and say don’t worry about it he walked off.
The study rooms have huge glass windows so we watched the man. He hid behind a wall for a few minutes and pretended like he was asking the girl at the desk a question. Then he came back and said, “Y’all better be gone in five minutes because I gotta get started!”
So, as we are walking out he tells us to come here. He then proceeds to pull out a play book. “This is the play Hamilton. Do you see what color this boy is,” he said.
“Yes, sir, Black,” we responded.
“Exactly! All these dumb characters are black (rolls eyes) (flips pages) except the king! The king can never be black (pointing to an old white man sitting on a thrown),” he continued.
Before the situation escalated any further I simply replied, “Yea, I’m gonna walk away before you take me out my character.”
And even after that he had the nerve to say, “Well if I offended you, oh well that is how it is supposed to be.”
The situation itself wasn’t the main cause of my frustration but it was the students around. They were laughing and did not see the issue and that is what brought pain to my heart. As I was walking through the whispers and laughs the man was still calling out to my friend and I requesting we come back to “discuss the play”.
After the incident I decided to bring it to social media and share my experience on a greater platform. At first, I was posting it because I was upset, but then I saw my friends and student body standing up for me, trying to do something about it.
And in a matter of a couple hours the problem had been resolved and taken care of.
What I learned from the situation is that things will happen to you that are out of your control, it is up to you on how you will react to solve the issue.