It’s difficult to feel safe as a person of color

Brea Jones/Staff Writer

For the past few weeks, I have noticed a change in my behavior whenever I’m outside. Rather than act as myself, I try my best to be overly polite and appear as non-threatening as possible.

I often become nervous whenever I’m in a public area and there are only white people around–I’ve even tried to calm myself down because of how intense I feel in such situations.

It’d be easy to write off my apprehension as introversion or shyness, but in truth, it’s all the result of the numerous events across this country, where people of color have racial slurs directed at them by Caucasian people.

It is difficult for me, my friends, and family members to perform normal daily activities that non-black people regularly do because of how common these documented events are.

It seems as if every week has a new viral video of a colored person being harassed for absolutely no reason at alleven if they’re just doing an activity as typical and mundane as ordering food.

And unfortunately, the racist behavior that these non-Black people partake in is one that is exhibited by the leader of our nation, President Donald Trump.   

Recently, it was reported that in a press conference, Trump said, “these aren’t people. These are animals.“ The public was led to believe that Trump was talking about all illegal immigrants but honestly, he was just referring to violent gang members, and criticizing the black community.

It’s these types of comments that result in the countless videos involving people of color being harassed publicly. When people hear the President of the United States making racist comments, it almost gives them permission to say similar things in public, leading them to be openly racist and bigoted in public.

While it’s often difficult to feel safe as a person of color, I can’t help but wonder how FIU would handle these kinds of situations.

One example that best demonstrates FIU’s response to such incidents is one that occured in early April, in which a video of four men attacking a gay couple appeared online. One of the attackers in the video was wearing an FIU shirt.

This caused FIU students and alum to express their disapproval of the violence and hatred shown in the video. Seeing the vast outrage from fellow FIU students and alum was reassuring.

Like the black community, the LGBTQ+ community has long been marginalized by those who are different from them. It is also hard for LGBTQ+ people to be themselves, even if more people are more accepting of them.

Although none of the men in the video were current FIU students, FIU released a statement saying the actions showed in the video do not represent FIU. I was very glad to these responses to the video, it reminded me that everyone is welcome at FIU.

Because it is an international school, FIU is home to students who come from all walks of life, regardless of race, sexual orientation, and the like.

Regardless of the fact that ignorance is everywhere and seems practically unavoidable, among all my fellow students, I feel safe at FIU, and have never experienced anything uncomfortable while on campus.

Our country needs to reevaluate its values and the way it views marginalized groups. That way, Black Americans, Hispanics, LGBTQ+ people and other marginalized groups won’t constantly feel uneasy when doing everyday tasks, and help us further unite our nation as one.



The opinions presented within this page do not represent the views of Panther Press Editorial Board. These views are separate from editorials and reflect individual perspectives of contributing writers and/or members of the University community.


Photo by Olayinka Babalola on Unsplash.

Be the first to comment on "It’s difficult to feel safe as a person of color"

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.