Losing one’s racial identity has been a reoccurring problem in history. No matter how far we have come as a “United America” we still face a lot of discrimination, and differing political issues. These different downsides can be cause due to effects of negative human communication. Growing up as an African American youngster in the suburbs was not always an easy task to fulfill. In my early years I experienced racism towards me on several occasions. Throughout this paper I will share my story of a moment in my life where I was really vulnerable to losing my racial identity, and how I was able to rise above it.
Growing up I lived in Indianapolis, Indiana from when I was five years to 15 years old. My family and I moved into a great neighborhood with an exceptionally high diverse population. Even though the neighborhood was diverse there were still a lot of different flaws that occurred. One of those flaws being different racism that some of us children experience, and how we were treated outside of the community.
My brothers and I are very outgoing and love to enjoy fun outdoors. Due to those conditions my parents decided to take us all to one of the local parks to have a family basketball game. Of course, this brought great excitement to us and we were frantic and could not wait to go. As we were waiting outside a car full of people passed by. Once they passed our house they came to an abrupt stop and started screaming different profanity such as, the N word and different variations of it. Being young I didn’t know how to react, I just knew I had to protect my little brothers as they started to approach us. Luckily my father was keeping watch over us and came outside. Once he ran out the young adults all got back in their car and drove off while yelling the N word. From looking into this unfortunate event as an adult I have realized there are several instances of verbal communication being used poorly.
“Verbal communication plays an important role in your Identity, and relationship development”. (Martin J.) This type pf communication played a key part in how this debacle was handled. If the individuals in the car didn’t have an altered perception of people of other ethnicities, this disaster could have prevented a lot. By the individuals in the car behaving in such a way, it give me an insight of the culture they belong to as well as a sense of what kind of people they are.
This experience brought on a series of different talks that we had to have with our parents at a young age. It’s very unfortunate that a part of our innocents was taken from us because of this racist behavior. Due to this incident I started to question if, my racial identity was a bad thing. Looking back on this now I am able to pull more information from our conversations because I have a better understanding now.
Racial identity is defiantly seen as a dark side of human communication. Talks I have had with my parents help me notice these different types of racism that can make a group feel discriminated against. Minority groups can start to feel marginalized because of negative human communication. By preforming this type of communication, people start to lose their sense of identity. These issues can be seen by different types of racism such as micro aggressions, which are almost in every social dynamic in today’s modern society. Micro aggressions are different such as someone telling an African American he “acts white” or that they are “not that kind of black kid”. These are different examples of the dark side of communication because people are failing to communicate properly. Even though these terms may seem fine to ignorant people, these are still several offensive terms and in some cases can cause individuals to lose their racial identity.
In regards to human communication, racial identity refers to “indications with a particular racial group”. – Martin J.
No one has the capability to make a significant change overnight. But by being aware of these queues we can help prevent them by making people aware of the issue it could be causing.
In closing, racial identity is not something someone should take lightly. A lot of different ethnic groups have struggled and are still struggling with this concept. Individuals losing their sense of racial identity are still having a big effect on this nation. Due to our history with racism different forms/types have slowly integrated into our everyday language. By making people aware of what they are saying in every day conversation is one step closer to going in the right direction.