Let’s Stop Pretending Like 'Equal Opportunity' Exists
Start writing a post
Travel

Let’s Stop Pretending Like 'Equal Opportunity' Exists

Who are you trying to convince: me or you?

150
Let’s Stop Pretending Like 'Equal Opportunity' Exists

Right now I'm sitting in the Milwaukee airport waiting patiently to get on the plane to go home to see my family for Easter. Like many people, I really hate the airport but not for the reasons you may think. My complete and utter dislike is due to the treatment that I have unfortunately become accustomed to between security and getting on the plane.

When it comes to security, you would be appalled by the number of times I've been stopped for a "hair search." "I'm sorry, but your bun is really big." Yeah…but what would I be hiding in my hair? The metal detector didn't even go off, yet they feel the need to stop me and check my hair…it's absurd. Other passengers get to breeze through security while I'm stopped, searched, and have to rush to my gate with a now crooked bun.

For this trip to save money, I decided to fly basic economy, which means that I have a guaranteed seat on the flight but have to wait until I get to the airport for an assigned seat. Even though I arrived early to get the best possible seat, I was told conflicting information by Delta personnel. I said to one employee, "Hi I am looking to get a seat assignment, and I'm flying…" and the woman rudely cut me off saying, "you're way too early. Come back in forty minutes." This was the third person I had spoken to about getting a seat assignment, so I was starting to get a tad frustrated. I was told that this was supposed to be a quick and easy process, but it was anything but that. A white woman only a few years older than me was in line behind me. When I heard her ask the same question, the now friendly Delta worker said: "I will be assigning seats shortly."

Because I no longer trusted the information I was receiving, I sat near the desk and saw the difference between how I was treated and spoken to and how others were being treated. When they made the announcement that they were ready to assign seats, I was the first person in line but was again given the cold shoulder. When they finally gave me a seat, it was in the last row of the plane in the middle seat. While I was happy to just be able to finally go home, I realized that the White woman from earlier wasn't anywhere near where I was sitting. She wasn't in the last row in the middle seat. Even though I was in line and given a seat assignment well before her, she was quite a few rows ahead of me.

People are so quick to say equal opportunity exists, but I can't even get on a plane to see my family for Easter without running into issues of prejudice. I can't go to the mall without getting stopped or followed. I can't start a semester without students acting surprised that I thoroughly understand the course material. I can't walk around my college campus without the campus police looking at me like I don't belong and must not go to school here. So the next time you claim that "Black women are angry," maybe consider our day to day experiences. The next time you say to a minority "equal opportunity exists," remember this article. And the next time you say "people need to pull themselves up by the bootstraps," maybe you should look at your new Gucci boots and reevaluate because at the end of the day, you could be talking to someone who is wearing hand-me-downs or don't have boots, to begin with, and no real equal opportunity to improve that situation. At the end of the day, I am a very calm person and typically refuse to let microaggressions affect me. However, these "coincidences" add up, and sometimes I think it's imperative to bring them to light.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
the beatles
Wikipedia Commons

For as long as I can remember, I have been listening to The Beatles. Every year, my mom would appropriately blast “Birthday” on anyone’s birthday. I knew all of the words to “Back In The U.S.S.R” by the time I was 5 (Even though I had no idea what or where the U.S.S.R was). I grew up with John, Paul, George, and Ringo instead Justin, JC, Joey, Chris and Lance (I had to google N*SYNC to remember their names). The highlight of my short life was Paul McCartney in concert twice. I’m not someone to “fangirl” but those days I fangirled hard. The music of The Beatles has gotten me through everything. Their songs have brought me more joy, peace, and comfort. I can listen to them in any situation and find what I need. Here are the best lyrics from The Beatles for every and any occasion.

Keep Reading...Show less
Being Invisible The Best Super Power

The best superpower ever? Being invisible of course. Imagine just being able to go from seen to unseen on a dime. Who wouldn't want to have the opportunity to be invisible? Superman and Batman have nothing on being invisible with their superhero abilities. Here are some things that you could do while being invisible, because being invisible can benefit your social life too.

Keep Reading...Show less
Featured

19 Lessons I'll Never Forget from Growing Up In a Small Town

There have been many lessons learned.

82990
houses under green sky
Photo by Alev Takil on Unsplash

Small towns certainly have their pros and cons. Many people who grow up in small towns find themselves counting the days until they get to escape their roots and plant new ones in bigger, "better" places. And that's fine. I'd be lying if I said I hadn't thought those same thoughts before too. We all have, but they say it's important to remember where you came from. When I think about where I come from, I can't help having an overwhelming feeling of gratitude for my roots. Being from a small town has taught me so many important lessons that I will carry with me for the rest of my life.

Keep Reading...Show less
​a woman sitting at a table having a coffee
nappy.co

I can't say "thank you" enough to express how grateful I am for you coming into my life. You have made such a huge impact on my life. I would not be the person I am today without you and I know that you will keep inspiring me to become an even better version of myself.

Keep Reading...Show less
Student Life

Waitlisted for a College Class? Here's What to Do!

Dealing with the inevitable realities of college life.

171495
college students waiting in a long line in the hallway
StableDiffusion

Course registration at college can be a big hassle and is almost never talked about. Classes you want to take fill up before you get a chance to register. You might change your mind about a class you want to take and must struggle to find another class to fit in the same time period. You also have to make sure no classes clash by time. Like I said, it's a big hassle.

This semester, I was waitlisted for two classes. Most people in this situation, especially first years, freak out because they don't know what to do. Here is what you should do when this happens.

Keep Reading...Show less

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Facebook Comments