You’re Looking Awfully Racist Today

By Amber Brenner –

We all hold prejudices, whether we know it or not. We judge a person based on how we see them at a glance in the halls. And yes, that is holding prejudices.

“He is wearing cowboy boots, so he must be a redneck. And we all know that every redneck is a racist. Therefore, because he is wearing cowboy boots, he must be a racist.”

This probably seems made-up. If you don’t believe that it’s true or don’t think it happens often, maybe you should try it. Wear cowboy boots and flannel, perhaps, because, of course, all rednecks love flannel. See what reactions you get.

Amber Brenner

I was raised on the same farm that I was born on and I don’t plan on ever leaving the rural countryside. Basically, I’m your typical, home-grown, country girl. I love my cowgirl boots and my plaid and flannel shirts. I would love to wear them more than I do, but sadly, I don’t wear them more than once every two or three weeks. When I do wear my boots, people make more eye contact with my feet than they make with my eyes. People will even go as far as making comments about my personality, again, based only on the way I am dressed. I often hear comments like, “You’re looking awfully racist today.”

I find myself making a calendar of what I wear when, just to avoid “looking racist” too often.

Everyone claims that we have too many “rednecks” in our school and they cause too many racial problems, but the fact is there are probably just as many people who hold prejudices against these rednecks as there are racists.

Everyone needs to realize that not every rednecks/hick is a racist.

Quay Hanna, a reformed racist and mediator here at Penn Manor, has had a table on the side of the cafeteria for years. Here sat students from his club of the past 15 years. They could talk about anything and everything. But this past semester, Hanna had the table removed from the cafeteria. There had been many incidents that originated from the table and Hanna didn’t want his name attached to what had happened.

Quay’s club was never a club for those “racist rednecks” to go be racist. It was started in 1997 after racial tensions broke out at Penn Manor and turned into what is referred to as “the whiteout.” This was after a white student stabbed a black student with a pencil and upon his return from suspension, his fellow “racists” all wore white tees to support his actions. Hanna held an assembly about the whiteout and met with the involved students during club period. These students asked him to come back and talk with them every week. The club morphed into a place where students meet weekly and discuss issues of race and other topics. They can speak freelyand all races can have their eyes opened by this club.

We have weeks taken from our schedules for PSSA testing and other things that the school needs us to do. Well, the school needs to be accepting and understanding of each other. There needs to be days set aside where everyone participates in these activities and discussions. Even the PSSA testing times could be used for the three grades not taking the PSSAs.

We all need to open our eyes a little. We are so fixed on what stereotypes and prejudices that we think we know, that we lose sight of what is truly real. After all, the rednecks aren’t the only ones with a problem. Neither are the racists.

But hey, what do I know?

I’m just a girl who suffers at the hands of prejudices in our school every day.

3 thoughts on “You’re Looking Awfully Racist Today”

  1. Thanks for writing this article. I have heard so many times that Quay’s Club is a “racist club” and it makes me want to scream. I mean cmon, do you seriously think that Penn Manor would have a racist club? Almost all of the members of our club are good hearted respectable people. Some may need a little work, but they are improving. It disappointed me that the lunch table had to be removed because of this incident.

  2. If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck…

    Judging someone at first glance is human, carrying that judgement after meeting the person and they aren’t at all like your initial judgement puts you at fault.

    Like it or not stupid people make the most noise and if there are enough of them wearing magenta bowler derbies the next time you see someone wearing a magenta bowler you’ll think they’re an idiot. These judgements don’t come out of nowhere, they come from past experiences of ourselves and those passed onto us by others. if you wear that bowler derby and you aren’t an idiot be prepared to prove it. Is this right or fair, no but it’s life. Chances are if someone is making ridiculous judgements, they’re an idiot and you can save your breath and time and simply purchase them a magenta bowler derby.

    Also the easiest way to appear non-racist is to have black friends. If you don’t have any, chances are you’re racist.

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