Realization: Part 2

Due to rezoning, I got transferred from an integrated high school to an all black one in my junior year. The school was so bad  that within a week, the few chicanos, whites and Asians that had transferred over with me all left. I was left alone there, the only 1/2 white student in an all black school.

They referred to me as the yellow sidiitty (uppity) ****** and I was considered stuck up just for being light-skinned. In a rising tide of black pride, my mother was considered a traitor for marrying a white man and so was I by implication. The kids hated me more than if I had been all white.

I was small for my age right through high school. I was on the gymnastics team and my specialty was the balance beam. I got  thrown against the lockers and otherwise hassled nearly everyday in the locker room. I had to wait until everybody left before I could shower so I was always late to class . I got spat on and had things thrown at me between classes, and got chased to and from school. This is by the girls. I reported one gang of girls to the VP . After that, the harassment escalated to beatings. The way the guys acted toward me, it's a miracle I was never raped. I got adept at sneaking around, dodging and running and made sure I was never caught alone in the gym or elsewhere.

The teachers didn't intervene. They said I should try harder to make friends. My parents were dismissive. They accused me of exaggerating and acting like Sarah Bernhardt (a drama queen) and refused my pleas to be transfered back to my old school. My parents' focus was on my older sister (who was all black, by a different father) and her stellar academics at university. And my little sister, with the same olive-skinned Italian coloring of my Dad was only 5 years old , had no such problems in kindergarten and was, as the youngest kid, adored by my parents.

I came to the realization that  I was on my own and would have to find ways to solve the problem myself. I started ditching school a lot.

Then one day I met a Filipino guy who had a gang of kali and escrima fighters. I got to know him and we started going together. Two of his brothers were on a gymnastics team at another school and they managed to transfer over to mine. After that, I had some modicum of protection but not 24/7 so they started teaching me kali and by my senior year,I could somewhat defend myself one-on-one.

This motivated me to train in martial arts seriously and I have done so ever since. Now I could kick anyone's butt in a heartbeat who so much as looked at me cross-eyed. For years I had so much fury just beneath the surface. I'm more mellow now but still will jump in to defend anyone who needs it because I know what it feels like to be bullied. Just last week, I jumped in to a 3-against-1 fight of all guys and broke it up. 

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3 Responses Mar 11, 2009

This site is amazing because it allows you to read this. Power to you!

You're a survivor of hatred, and you turned that into two beautiful things: your own personal growth, and the oppurtunity to lead by example for the rest of us.

I don't know what you went trough in school. but i will ya you it has made you a better person and one who will stand up for he little guy if it becomes unfair. you know alot of other poeple would have went and instead of learning too defend one self they would have let the problem keep going and more then likely been very abusive too others i am glad that did happen too you