The worst kind of sympathy is a fake one.


Trying to explain the black experience in class to someone who portrays a genuine shock and a face of sadness is one that I didn’t expect. Don’t get me wrong, every race, gender, and culture has their share of both negative and positive parts that come with it.

In class one day, where it is predominately white, and about 6-7 kids in there are black, the conversation of living today as a black woman or a black man came as a challenge. There are daily struggles that has to be faced. From the media portraying the stereotypical thug, crackhead, prostitute, drug dealer to reaching above the stereotypes and now being looked at as a sell out or trying to act “white” to fit in.  We try to explain how when we came college, we were told that because we didn’t end at an HBCU that were not black enough and that we weren’t going to get the full black experience because we came to a PWI.

We also tried to explain that as a minority, we were taught to work twice as the rest of the world because even if you were able to reach to the top, there were still a few people that would not let you through.

Your face brings shocks, disbelief and sadness as it turns red and tears start coming down your face. Although it was not expected, it was appreciated because at the end of day, you showed us that even though you would never understand, you were willing to try. You looked at us and said “I’m so sorry. I honestly didn’t even know that this was happening.” After that day, we felt that this could turn into something greater. The feeling of an open honest conversation about race issue seemed like a good idea. Sure many people seemed hesitant but at the end of the day, it is something that needs to happen.

Weeks go by and race continues to be a topic of conversation. Only this time those who sympathized with us sang a different tune. As pictures and videos go through on the PowerPoint presentation, you seemed to have a lot to say under your breath rather than speaking up about what you really feel. Don’t play dumb because I witnessed it all. Every time race issues comes to play and one tries to explain it from a black perspective, you roll your eyes and suck your teeth as if it bothers you to hear it. Well hun, we are tired of explaining it.

One day in class, we go around explaining how we want others to see ourselves in society and you go around saying how you wanted people to not see you as this stereotypical sorority girl and that you were all about giving back, helping others and being an overall good person. I don’t think my eyes rolled back hard enough. The bullshit that came out of your mouth was not shocking but irritating as someone can sit back and really think that. What even crazier is that those around you who showcased the same looked of shock when we talked about the black experience agreed with you.

Damn shame how people can lie in your face as if your issues are their issues. What you need to understand is that if it doesn’t apply to you, then you don’t care. You can save the sympathy card for someone who needs it more than we do.