We Are UMass

 Four letters. Sometimes that is all it takes to hurt someone or make them feel bad.  I find it so frustrating that people can be so rude and for no reason at all. With everything that has been happening at UMass recently with labeling people based on their race, I was shocked to see that some people still have not learned.

About two weeks ago, I was riding one of the buses back after I had seen one of the school performances. It was late and a Friday night, but the particular bus I was on was not that crowded. So I got on the bus and went on my way. When it finally came to my stop, I went to get off the bus. I politely asked three times if this young man could move so I could get off the bus. I could see why he did not want to get off the bus so I could get by because he did not want the bus to shut the doors on him. However, he would not move and when he finally did, he decided that it was a good idea to walk right into me. I found this frustrating because I had asked him to move politely, so when he rudely walked into me, I told him to get his stuff together.

Then there it was: that four letter word. The “C” word. Apparently he thought that he had some right to call me that word. Why? Because I had politely asked him three times to move and he pushed into me? So not only had he put his hands on me but also called me that disgusting word. I angrily responded, which I should not have, but my emotions got the best of me. What right did he think he had to call me that word? His friend chimed in as well, calling me the “B” word because apparently the “C” word was not enough. I might add that before our encounter, this young man also said to another young man boarding the bus to “watch out for the drunk girls,” like they were some kind of problem. Meanwhile, he was out having fun as well. What was his problem?

So it got me thinking…why do people insist on labeling others and condemning them for who they are? I do not care that this young man and his friend called me those names, but I care that he thought he was better than all the females on that bus. That he discriminated against us because we were females. Well let me tell you, I am proud to be a female and I am proud to represent other females when I say, it is not a man’s world anymore. More importantly, I will not allow other females to be called names based on their gender. That is not okay, nor is it okay for anyone to be called names based on who they are. What kind of world are we living in if people still think it is okay to do that?

I encourage you all, no matter who you are, to stand up for yourselves because when you stand up for yourself you represent all of us: all of us who want people to think before they speak. All of us who want everyone to be equal. All of us who want people to stop judging and labeling .All of us who realize that at the end of the day, we are all just humans at the core and nothing more.

Community is defined as “a feeling of fellowship with others, as a result of sharing common attitudes, interests, and goals.” That is what UMass Amherst is: a community and I will stand up against those who try to break that community and I hope that you all will too. 


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