Friday, July 1, 2011
Yes, That's My Husband ~ College in San Diego
We thought (mistakenly) that people in California were laid back, accepting types. That was not always true. We were fine when we were on the base, but my husband found a lot of prejudice toward blacks at the building where he worked. Incidently, the people who belonged to other minority groups treated him badly, not the white people.
I decided to go to a local retail fashion business school. I liked it and it was easier than the four year college that I had graduated from. Besides, the California school had job placement. It was easy and I found it interesting. As usual, I sat up front so I would not miss anything. I was a born student and usually work very hard to get the best grade in the class.
It was different, much more casual than college back East. The annoying thing was that every instructor allowed a bunch of students to talk while they sat in the back of the room. Every day, I had to try and ignore them.
However, things came to a head one day when we were going over a test in Business Math. I had a perfect score, but everyone else had pretty much flunked it. I was sitting in the front, patiently listening as the instructor went over the test. The girls in the back got louder and louder.
Finally, I had had it. I turned around and said loudly, "I am here because I want to learn. If you do too, then stop talking. If you don't, then go home so the rest of us can hear." I turned around, but the girls started yelling at me, calling me names, like I was uppity and thought I was better than everyone else. The instructor started telling them to be quiet, and the class was in an uproar. It was so loud that the director of the school heard it and came down the hall to see what the ruckus was about.
It was all blamed on me. I stood up and told the director hotly, "I am paying good money to attend this college. In every class, there are students that sit in the back and gossip to each other, making it hard to hear. If they don't want to learn, then they should go home." The director agreed with me, and the girls didn't say anything. The class resumed and I could feel them glaring death rays at the back of my head.
The girls who got the most upset were black. When I got out of school that day, there were five of them waiting for me. I thought that they were going to start fighting me, and I was wearing a skirt and heels. I walked past them, ignoring them. They followed me, yelling insults and all sorts of names that I never knew black people called white people. They seemed to think that I was a bigot that hated black people and that was the reason that I picked on them. There were white girls in the back of the room that were yakking, too, but these black girls took it personally.
They kept it up though I ignored them. I walked across the parking lot, across a street, across a huge mall parking lot and they did not stop until I got on the bus, when they stood and gave me the finger as I rode away. I was trying not to cry.
Later that day, when my husband got home, I burst into tears and told him. He was very angry that they treated me like that. He wanted to go to the school with me the next day. I felt strongly that I needed to go back and face them by myself without dragging my husband into it. He suggested that I call my two best friends at the school, and tell them about it. I called both girls, one white girl, and one black girl and they said that they would keep an eye out for me. That made my husband much happier.
The next morning, when I got off the bus, both of my friends were waiting for me, and so was the group of black girls. Both of my friends were tall and intimidating as they walked along on either side of me. I went and reported the incident to the school director and she called the group of black girls into her office.
The girls started telling the director that I was a bigot and all sorts of stuff like that. I waited until they ran down a little and then told them that my husband was black, which really shut them up! The director made them apologise to me, but I did not accept it and said so, because they really were not sorry and their apology had not reflected it. Now that I was over being scared, I was furious. I left the office and the girls did not bother me again. The school passed a policy that people who sat and talked during class time and bothered the other students would be asked to leave the class.
It just goes to show how easily people can put race into the picture, when that not what it was about at all.