The Cost of Acceptance

One day I was making a post on Facebook around the time of our second class reunion. In the excitement I posted something about how great my high school experience was. One of my African-American classmates sent me a message on the side inquiring about what school I was referring to. It was in that moment that I quickly flashed back to everything negative that I endured pertaining to racism in high school. I had convinced myself that I was not a nerd, but my friend said I was simply a “cool nerd.” I was the only black kid in one particular class, when in came an angry white female student saying, “if you guys can wear Malcolm X shirts, then we should be able to wear David Duke shirts.”

After all of the flashing back was over I thought about what the cost of acceptance really was, even is. It was not until college that I even knew who W.E.B. DuBois was. After reading about “double consciousness” the light went off about my own history. One level of consciousness is who we really are. This level may not be the most popular, but it is who we are. This level is not acceptable by all, and so we learn to create another level of consciousness, one that is more pacifists-politically correct.

Had I lost myself in the pacifists consciousness so much so that in my forties I am still in search for what characteristics are really me? Had I tiptoed around the avoidance of stereotypes so much did I really suppressed the real me? I went through all of that from one question concerning my perception of our high school years.

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