Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Not the Same


When I was in dental school, I had a teacher who taught nutrition. She had a doctorate in nutrition. She was one of these affluent white people who gave her life to teach poor hood kids to eat better. Now she didn't give the families any money. And she didn't drop off food that she thought they should eat. She berated them on their food choices and attempted to persuade them to eat differently. She hoped that arming them with knowledge would change their lives for the better.

She didn't like me. I was a Black female student from an inner city; therefore, I had to have been raised by a poor single mother, never had met my father, living in the projects, on assistance all my life, public school educated, probably had my mother watching my children who had gotten lucky enough to attend college and dental school. That was absolutely not true. The antithesis was true. But she couldn't ever see that because my parents were hard working ordinary people and that's not the way Black people came. Black folks are ALL impoverished except the ones that became professional athletes or entertainers. those would lift their families out of our natural state of poverty. I'd seen white folks like that before. I never cared because what they peddled wasn't for me. But this chick had my future in her hands. For her little 2 credit class, required break out sessions and nutrition counselling sessions... I had to placate her. There were other Black students in the class (exactly 3 others out of 96) But she just knew I fit her perceived prototype.

During a break out session she remarked that she had been counseling a child he reported that he drank Kool-Aid that he had added a cup of sugar to. She went on and on about how we needed to counsel these people so they could learn to eat better. I raised my hand and said that you were supposed to add a cup of sugar to Kool-Aid. That the directions directed that it be made that way. She came back that that Kool-Aid was pre-sweetened. i came back with not all Kool-Aid is pre-sweetened. She looked at me really stupid and told me she didn't believe me. She said if I could prove it, I could get an "A" in that class and not have to attend any more sessions. I took that action.

There was a Pathmark across the street from the school and I said that I would go across the street and get a pack of Koo-Aid and prove that to her. She agreed and handed me a $5 bill. I asked what it was for. She said the Kool-Aid. I laughed and said that wouldn't be necessary. I had a quarter. she was so confused. i told her to have a 2L pitcher with water in it for when I got back. And she did.

I came in with 1 pack of purple Kool-Aid... No sugar. She looked at the pack and asked me when did they start making this. She had never seen it before. I said that this is the type of Kool-Aid I have been drinking my entire life. Yes I had to admit that drank Kool-Aid, but I drank water, milk, juice and other beverages too. I got 2 packs. She was quick on the draw and poured the powder into the water without reading the directions. She was certain that it was drinkable without sugar. She poured out dixie cup sized portions for everyone in the room. I declined as did the other Black person in the room. I also backed away from the group because I knew some spitting was about to happen and Kool-Aid stains don't come out.they sipped and no one in the room swallowed it.

She asked me what I had done to the pack. I reminded her that she opened it and that it was nasty because she neither added sugar nor did she read the directions. She said that couldn't be proven since the package had been destroyed. I pulled the back up pack out, read the directions and let everyone see it before she could get it and destroy it again. I also showed her the receipt for the 2 packs. It came to $0.20 for the 2 packs. Yes, this was a while ago. I explained that this option is cheaper than buying pre-sweetened Kool-Aid. And also you could get a variety in a canister. The packs were cheaper than the canisters even with the additional price of sugar. Why would you expect people who were strapped for cash to choose a more expensive option? I went on to explain that there were even cheaper options of powder-pack beverages. she assumed that I knew this because I had been raised in poverty. Whatever.

That heifer asked me if I would, for no money, work on her project. That would include every weekend, holiday, and summers. Did I mention without being compensated? I declined. I really needed to get paid to put up with her racism. And none of the other Black people that she approached agreed to her arrangement. She told the whole school that the reason we wouldn't work for her was because Black people didn't like to work. And she refused to sign her departmental release for me to get my diploma. I waited 2 weeks for it before I went to the dean and showed him all my qualifications for the degree. And he agreed and released my degree.

Why did I share this with you? Be mindful that the help you receive from the devil is always laced with devilishment. Do the Knowledge before you accept something that seems so easy and without strings. Things are usually not as they seem.