California State University East Bay

The Pioneer

California State University East Bay

The Pioneer

California State University East Bay

The Pioneer

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Racial Hate Still Exists in America

Candlelight vigils are commonly held after a hate crime devastates a community.

The June 26 murder of 49 year-old African American James Craig Anderson by 19-year-old Caucasian male Deryl Dedmon stunned Jackson, Mississippi and many parts of America.

Dedmon viciously ran over Anderson with his truck in a parking lot and reportedly called friends to brag about the incident.

This horrible hate crime illustrates how racial violence and tension may still be prevalent in all parts of America, not just Mississippi where it occurred.

Having been born and raised in the Bay Area, which is one of the most diverse areas in the country, I never really experienced racial tension or bullying growing up.

However, this past month when I traveled to Texas for vacation, that was a different case.

For the most part Austin, Texas is a small college town with a mixed racial crowd, however, travel just outside of the city and you’re in small, sleepy country towns.

I am Fijian-Indian and traveled with two of my Caucasian female friends.  As we entered into a small barbeque restaurant in a tiny town, the owners and customers were all smiles as my friends entered first.

However, when I soon followed behind them, I could visibly see their faces fall.

Ordering my lunch was another interesting experience as the restaurant served only beef and pork—two items that I do not eat—so I was left with potato salad as the man at the counter refused to look me in the eye as I ordered and returned my change on the counter and not in my hand, something he did not do with my friends.

Something similar happened when we ventured to a country bar outside of Austin.

My friends went to get their ID’s checked before me and the man at the door, complete with a cowboy hat and boots, was laughing and telling them how much they’d enjoy themselves.

When I walked up to him, smiled and asked how he was doing, he had a scowl on his face, refused to answer my question and examined my ID by bending it and holding it up to the light repeatedly.

While the staff was friendly and nice inside, I couldn’t help but notice I was the only non-white person in the establishment.

While these are isolated moments, it only leads me to wonder what the rest of Texas or Middle America is like.

I’ve always considered living in the Bay Area a privilege, but after hearing of the hate crime in Mississippi and then experiencing racial tension in Texas myself, it’s easy to see how hate crimes are still a major factor in America.

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California State University East Bay
Racial Hate Still Exists in America