Dear White People
Zakariya Abdullahi, Staff Writer
Are you actually an ally, or do you just happen to be in a setting where you are forced to be one? Because we, your students of color, are tired of your shit. We are tired of your microaggressions.
You do not get to tell us who or what we are; nor do you get to minimize our experiences. For too long, Augsburg’s white staff and faculty have comfortably hidden behind Augsburg’s stereotypical “liberal” and “welcoming” environment. This stereotype has made a lot of our white staff and faculty too comfortable and made to feel invisible from criticism.
Too often, whether in the classroom or their offices, white people at this campus have minimized our experiences and our struggles and even laughed at us. I asked a couple of current Augsburg students and alumni what they would like to say to white staff and faculty, and I got the following responses:
- Stop telling us our GPAs somehow equate to our worth
- Stop telling us our experiences seem fake or exaggerated (they’ll probably say the same about this article)
- Stop making us feel less than our white classmates when we ask for help
- Stop telling us we cannot make it because of who we are (i.e., muslim women cannot be doctors because …)
- Stop telling us it is our fault that we are poor
- Stop telling us that school is more important than the people we love
- Stop assuming that we need your pityness
- Stop treating my hair like an art exhibit
- Stop assuming that we can somehow speak for a whole religion, culture, etc.
- Stop assuming things about us when you do not know the facts
Though Augsburg brands itself to students of color as a diverse and “welcoming” space, it is not really a space for students of color to flourish and grow. A lot of us are scared to ask for resources from many places on campus because their gatekeepers keep students of color out. In conclusion, I hope that every white person takes the time to reflect and honestly answer the first question.