I grew up in a small town. It was predominantly white. You grow up with these kids and, honestly, race is not a big topic. You blindly turn an eye to this problem called racism because you grew up with these kids. They would ever not like you because of something you couldn’t control and just as well you could never hate them for something they couldn’t control. It’s not until you grow up that you start to realize that you really are just turning a blind eye.

In my small county, school districts are really weird. In my case, I went to elementary school with one group of students and then after fifth grade these students are sent to a different middle school. So, based on where you live, you are essentially split up from half of the students you grew up with and sent to middle school with a different group of upcoming sixth graders and you graduate with these kids.

My point of explaining this is because it wasn't until about seventh or eighth grade that I realized what race really was. I had this new group of students come in and I, honestly, was one of the few native Windsor students labeled as too “white” for the black kids and too “black” for the white kids. I say that now as a joke among friends, but it’s honestly freakishly true. I have people to this day tell me they can tell who I’m talking too because of the type of voice I use or, when I’m working, I’ll have people tell me that I’m not what they were expecting because of my voice and/or name.

So, anyway, around this time in life you start to realize that this race thing you could care less about is going to affect you regardless of what you try to ignore. In high school, we had a debate about the rebel flag and why people had a problem with it. When someone can blatantly have no care or understanding of your point of view, that’s when you really see someone for who they are. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying we have to agree on the subject, but if you automatically shut down and don’t care about why this would hurt someone else then are you really friends to begin with?

In college, however, I was really shown what racism was. I went from small town life to city life and it was definitely a culture shock. Everything was different from what I was used to. It was also here that I started researching stuff and formulating my own, true opinions on subjects. I, also, started not caring what my small town friends or anyone thought. You may not like someone’s opinion or even agree with it, but you should definitely respect it.

During this time, I started watching movies and TV shows about racism. When I tell you that watching certain movies can really affect your mentality and mess you up momentarily, it’s not a joke. I’m not racist by any means, but there are movies that can have you dislike an entire race for a just a few minutes.

For example:

"Selma"

This was a great movie, but it hurt to watch. I literally sat and watched this movie and cried a ton. The opening scene alone messes you up. This entire movie has violence in it. It does a great job of showing you everything that happened during this time period. One con, however, is that it’s violent. The things you see people go through because they were black or because they were helping black people… it hurt. I screamed at the T.V. a lot during this movie.

"Lee Daniel’s The Butler"

Oh man. Awesome movie, but it’s another side of racism that is just unbearable to watch. You see a parent trying to do what’s right and a kid who just wants real rights. The scene in the diner…that annoyed me.

"Ruby Bridges"

She was a kid. They didn’t care. They still treated her like crap. She. Was. A. Kid. A black kid just doing what she was told and was hated for it. The bravery she showed though. It was commendable.

"The Help"

While this movie was filled with so many good parts too, you can’t deny the racism you saw in it. She lost her job because of racism. A job she was good at and only lost because her boss was too afraid to stand up to her really racist friend.

"The Secret Life of Bees"

The movie theatre scene. Then there’s the scene with Jennifer and that was for what?

"Straight Outta Compton"

I mean I get it, they were in bad neighborhoods, but you can’t stereotype an entire neighborhood because there are gangs there. Did you see the amount of police brutality in this movie and for what reason? Because you saw a bunch black guys standing there doing nothing? Because he didn’t do what you wanted him to? Because he walked out of a house where you were outside doing a (probably illegal) search? Like contrary to popular demand, black people still have rights I promise. On top of that, the only black cop in the movie really annoyed me. Like dude you’re getting punked by the white cops. They’re making you stereotype and do the dirty work for them. Because, in the end, they can say well we had a black guy on our side so it wasn’t racist.

"42"

This is Jackie Robinson’s life story. The stuff he endures to play baseball. This is another movie that is really hard to watch at times. It was just so wrong and disgusting. You just have to think to yourself, that this is a real movie and this really happened to someone.

"Fruitvale Station"

This is one of the newer cases. If you’ve never seen this movie…watch it. There is some sort of justice in the end. This is another police form of racism that will just blow your mind.

Now I know it’s crazy to say that these movies will momentarily make you dislike an entire race, but these movies will make you angry. I’m not saying I hate the people of today, but I just hate the race of people back then and how they could do such things and how their hatred has leaked into today’s society. It’s not okay now and it wasn’t okay then. You should watch these movies because would you really want your kids to grow up in a society that is slowly repeating history?