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Politics and Activism


You may not get uncomfortable easily, but it will happen eventually.


This past week as my friend and I were sitting in a dining hall on campus, we were approached by two female students who asked us to fill out a survey for their class. I am not the type of person to say no to things like this because I am 100% willing to help out a fellow student. So, we got the survey.

When I looked at the first question I got very uncomfortable. I looked at my friend with a blank face and she just said "this makes me so uncomfortable". Quickly, I agreed, and I am not one to get uncomfortable easily.

When I said yes to the survey I was not expecting questions like "briefly describe the features (skin color, age, eye color, income, etc.) of what a successful CEO would look like", "what race is more likely to be on welfare?", "what race of teenagers have the highest graduation rate? and why?", and my favorite "if you hear loud music in a passing car, regardless of the sound, what race would you assume the person is?" The list goes on... (Below is a photo of it with my answers blurred out.

As you can see in the image above, the first thing we had to do was choose our race. They had written in "black/" to include black into African American. They also had to put Asian in as an choice since it was not included in the provided options. Another option was "Middle Eastern" which is not a race. This should have been our first sign to simply hand back the survey and politely say no.

I started to fill it out and I was answering truthfully. It made me feel like an awful person and I got more and more uncomfortable as the survey went on.

After we finished, one of the girls immediately came up, took the survey and thanked us for our time. As we were discussing it, we realized that this was more than likely an experiment to watch us and our reactions and not to take our answers into consideration. We came to the conclusion that it wasn't to see if we were "racist" or "stereotypical" but to see if the survey would make us uncomfortable.

The University of South Florida is a diverse campus full of people from all over the world. I could not imagine a professor being allowed to make students go see if the majority of people would say the answers that they wanted. My friend and I are very hopeful that this survey was merely to make us feel out of our comfort zone because it is not every day we are sitting in the dining hall and get handed a survey strictly about stereotypes.

To anyone that feels they fit into one of the answers of the survey, I am sorry society profiles you. I apologize for you being the first person that came to my mind when I filled out this survey. I am sorry.

To my friend who got handed the survey with me, thank you for being there to do that with me. I could not have gotten through one of the most uncomfortable moments of my life without you by my side (or sitting across the table from me).

To the girls who handed us the survey, if you're reading this, thank you. Thank you for taking me out of my comfort zone. As previously stated, I do not get uncomfortable easily. You definitely proved to me that there are indeed situations that make me not comfortable, I did not know that.

So, if you are like me and you feel like nothing will make you uncomfortable and that you can make any awkward situation not awkward, there are. They may be rare, but you will come across a situation that tears down your strength one day, and you can get through it, I promise.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

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