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Katherine McCabe / Gavel Media

Diatribe: It's Hard to be White at BC

The Gavel's Diatribe acts as the satirical medium for short rants over topics ranging from complete triviality to utmost importance.

There has always been open dialogue about how the Boston College community can help students of any marginalized identity on campus. However, we have never discussed how difficult it is to be a white person at BC. Since freshman year, I’ve walked around campus and all I’ve seen are posters, offices, and clubs that are not for me. I am expected to educate myself on minority struggles, but what about my struggles as a white person? I can’t even feel unique because everywhere I turn, people look just like me. I walk into my classes and everyone around me looks the same; blonde, white, and wearing Golden Gooses. When I walk into a party and start grooving, people tell me I can’t dance. All these microaggressions against white people flying around; why do we let it slide when someone says white people don’t know how to season their food? Don’t even get me started on the underrepresentation of my cultural cuisine in the dining hall. I walk into Lower Live and all I see are enchiladas, Mediterranean bowls, chicken curry, and other exotic foods I’ve never heard of. It’s unfair that I can’t have my cultural staples and familiar foods showcased at the dining hall.

There is also the issue of special treatment. When there is an incident of someone on this campus being called a “colonizer” or having their Blue Lives Matter flag chastised, professors refuse to give us extensions on our papers; sometimes the incidents even go unnoticed! However, when someone runs through the MLE floor yelling racial slurs, or writes Black Lives D**t Matter, or says the n-word, suddenly all of those affected students receive extensions, support groups, and mass outrage following the event. I mean, sure, the people who chastised the Blue Lives Matter flag have been arrested by BCPD, and those that yelled racial slurs might still be enjoying campus, but I think we deserve the extra support too!

People often complain about how big the white student population is at BC when in reality it is barely even 70% of all students. I also never get featured on the social media or diversity pages when photographers are around; they only pay attention to the minority students, and want to make sure that they are represented, but what about the white students? Prospective students need to know that we’re here too! Also, no one appreciates BCPD the way they should, I always feel so safe on this campus thanks to them. I wish I could tell prospective students about the importance of grades too. If they’re like me, they have to make sure to be smart (or have 12 legacy family members) in order to get in, because we can’t rely on the boxes we check in the demographic questionnaire. At least I know I earned my admission because I was smart and my parents had enough money.

I can’t believe I almost forgot one of the biggest weights on my shoulders. I am expected to be so informed, but when I post a colorful infographic on my Instagram story as my way of fighting racism, people tell me that I'm just being performative. That’s not really fair because I am expected to spend so much of my time learning about issues of racism or inequity but they just don’t personally affect me. After all, everyone is educated on white struggles in school, so why can’t they take the responsibility and educate me on other struggles. It’s not my fault no one teaches me about these issues; they’re just not my identity so why would I know?

It is too often that the difficulty of being white on BC’s campus gets overlooked. I am expected to be an ally, yet no one spoon-feeds me the information. I have no access to white culture centers or white-only learning experience floors in my residence hall. And worst of all, there’s so much diversity here (34% AHANA) that no one understands my struggle. I guess I had no idea until I came to campus that it would be so hard to be white at BC.

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Bleachers music enthusiast and hammocking fanatic. Hoping to make the world a better place through oxford commas, feminism, and bagels.