We are living in a time where diversity is a hot topic. It's hard to go a week without something causing outrage amongst the minority population in America. This is especially present on college campuses, particularly mine. With a diversity rate of 14 percent, Appalachian State University has developed a reputation of intolerance and non-inclusivity. I love my university and I would never choose another place to further my education. However, I have undergone several experiences that have made me feel less than what I am. Professors and classmates look for my opinion primarily when the subject of discussion refers to my ethnicity, I have been given certain advantages to serve the purpose of adding a splotch of color to university organizations and I've been ignored because I don't fit in with our majority population.
I have learned to deal with this from a young age. My issue, however, is being criticized for being mad about it. I don't want to be treated like anything other than a human being, but people don't seem to understand that concept. When I talk about it, I automatically become the angry black girl in the room. In everyone else's eyes, I am a white-shaming, anti-conservative and unreasonable excuse for a human being.
What I would like to know is when I lost the privilege of feeling however I very well please. When did being aggravated with how I am treated by people make me an obnoxious and dramatic nuisance? When did I lose the right to get angry just like everyone else?
When I was a kid, someone in elementary school told me that I couldn't be white and black. Everyone was one or the other. At the time, it was just some kid not understanding the way that DNA works. But now it's just ignorance. If I get frustrated about how black people are mistreated people call out the fact that I'm white. If I get frustrated about how white people are portrayed in the media people call out the fact that I'm black. I am both things, and I shouldn't have to fight so hard for people to understand that. I also shouldn't be belittled for getting angry.
If someone walked up to you and told you that the person you were was wrong, would you be angry? If someone told you that you were overreacting to seeing people you identify with being gunned down in the street, would you be angry? If someone said that you have the same rights as everyone else when it is clear that you don't, would you be angry?
I may be pissed, but what I say matters. What I say can show you how you should treat other people. My anger could lead to the resolution of issues that could be easily combatted by common sense. I am more than an irritated girl with brown skin. I am a person that deserves at least an ounce of respect.