Weaponizing Race

By: Gabriela Yareliz

This is probably not a spiel you are used to, so hear me out:

Today, I witnessed a disturbing thing on a playground. Let me set up the scene: It was a new playground, with a very cool and unique swing. There was only one of these swings, and two sisters were on the swing, constantly. They monopolized it. The sisters were girls of color (this is an important detail, and that is the only reason why I am being specific).

Many kids waited for a turn on this one unique swing, but they often walked away disappointed because the girls on the swing would taunt them, would stick their tongues out and tell them to go away and were essentially bullying other children away from the swing. These girls were taller and appeared to be older than the other children.

A young boy and his sister (both white) wanted to go on this swing, and when the mother of the two sisters, who were monopolizing the swing, came to check on them, they made up a story that the young boy and his sister had cursed them out. That didn’t happen. I was watching the entire time. The young boy and his sister had waited patiently, and they had even twirled in place, like little nerds, as they waited, with high hopes, to ride the swing.

The young boy and his sister got a turn on the swing, but the bullying girls were upset they were forced to give up the swing, so they told their father the young boy had called them the “N-Word”.

At this point, I was like you have got to be kidding me. I wanted to get involved, but then, the accused children’s father finally showed up.

Observations from me (a woman of color– so don’t come at me like I don’t know what is going on here):

1. This issue wouldn’t have occurred had the parents actually been watching what was going on with their children. WATCH YOUR KIDS!

2. The young black girls were bullying other children, and when they didn’t get what they wanted, they tried to hurt the children and retaliate by lying. What was worse was that they used their race and weaponized it. As someone who has experienced genuine racism, this is just disgusting. These girls lied and said innocent kids they had bullied had used a racial slur on them.

I hope that parents everywhere will pay attention and not raise entitled children who instead of empowering their race, choose to weaponized it. This was horrible, and if this is the world we are creating and the children we are raising, then man, we people of color need to do a better job. That world is no better than the world of white privilege and oppression.

Racism is real and it stings, however lying about it should never be used as a weapon to your advantage. Lying about anything should never be used to your advantage. It will always be wrong, and what happened today on the playground seems to be a reflection of so many larger and publicized issues in the news, lately (Jussie Smollett).

Where have integrity and honesty landed? I am asking because I really don’t see it around here, in any color.

Published by Gabriela Yareliz

Gabriela is a writer, editor and attorney. She loves the art of storytelling, and she is based in NYC.

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