“Not surprised,” was sophomore Christian Dorsey McQueen’s response to the Arbery shooting. It has come to the point where he no longer sees the taking of a black man’s life as unusual. Nothing has changed in the current political climate so society is stuck with headlines of “lynchings” panning the national news stations on a monthly basis. Dorsey-McQueen remembers one of the most traumatic moments he’s experienced on account of racism. He was a young and innocent freshman just changing out of his P.E. clothes in the boys locker rooms. Two kids came up to him and asked him this question with a snicker.
“How about you say one half of the N-word and I say the other, so it’s not racist.”
Dorsey-McQueen was shocked by the comment that his school classmates made toward him. It seemed so simple for them to say and it was a comical affair for them. He is scarred from this event: experiencing such an ignorant comment so early in his life made him believe that this was all school would be.
Now Dorsey-McQueen receives dirty looks when he goes for runs with his brother just because their skin happens to be a few shades darker than the so-called “normal.” He realizes that racism may not be as extreme as it has been in the past, yet it has morphed into different forms. Dorsey-McQueen has started to empower himself as a black man by reading novels such as The New Jim Crow which is written by African-American author Michelle Alexander.
He further empowered himself by joining Sage Creek’s campus club BSU (Black Student Union). In this atmosphere, he is able to express personal situations that make others feel uncomfortable. He is able to learn about the black community and encourage himself to take a stand. He believes that being able to join this program has helped him feel more accepted, especially since he attends a predominantly white school in a predominantly white city. He feels that when someone is encountering racism to “use it as some sort of fuel to move forward.”