Stuy While Black and Latinx: A Reflection

I recently saw a thread on Twitter and hashtags made by Black and Latinx students sharing their stories. I was glad to see someone was speaking out, and I was inspired to share my own experience:

#StuyIsRacist.

Freshman year: during a free period, a white male student called me Mexican and an illegal immigrant. When I asked him why he did it, he laughed in my face. #StuyIsRacist

Sophomore year: two Asian students filed a false report against me, saying I was a gang member, had verbally harassed them, and was threatening their lives. They told their friends they were sending the cops after me because “a charge like that had criminal implications.” The dean made me write a statement, which we took to guidance in hopes of a mediation session. I was terrified. One of the Asian students never showed up, the other denied having filed a report. None of the adults in the room questioned it, but they had the report. I was threatened with suspension, neither of the students who filed the report were disciplined. #StuyIsRacist

Junior year: I was sick and tired of hearing one of my Asian classmates drop the “n word” 24/7. I begged him to stop and tried explaining to him why it was wrong, reminding him Black students had written about it in the school paper. He grinned and dropped it again, this time really rolling his r’s. #StuyIsRacist

Senior year: Some students said they didn’t know what a girl like me was doing in a school like Stuy “because all she does is hang out with blacks and mexicans outside of stuy anyways.” They insulted the way I spoke and the hoops I wore, saying it was “ratchet”. They said this all anonymously. Racists are often cowards. #StuyIsRacist

I am proud to be graduating, but above all, I wonder how I survived four years of this. I wonder how my Black and Latinx peers and alumni survived four years of this.

When we speak out about the racism in the school or ask people to stop, we are ignored and silenced. Last year, there was a video of a girl from our school in blackface along with 2 other Poly Prep students. When Stuy students tried to share the video, the school told them to take it down. They dealt with this so silently that if you look up “stuyvesant” and “blackface” you won’t find any results. If you look up “poly prep” and “blackface” you will.

I planned to share this and the twitter thread last night. I was afraid, and by the time I made up my mind to share, the tweets were gone. Moments later, they sent me screenshots of students who said they reported the account, celebrating that it was shut down. They erased Black and Latinx voices. This is unacceptable.

Attending Stuyvesant while Black or Latinx means constant racism, microaggressions, and attacks. It’s tolling for Black students to have to scroll down their social media pages, or walk down the halls and hear their non-Black peers saying the n word and other slurs. It’s tolling to live in this painful reality on a daily basis. It breaks you.

The students that stay quiet as they watch their friends and peers say the “n word”, racial slurs, and racist jokes have silenced us.

Stuyvesant has silenced these racist incidents for years.

The racist students have silenced us.

Stuyvesant has silenced us.

#StuyIsRacist

Stuyvesant breeds, excuses, enables, and protects racists. The same people who will grow up to become our future lawyers, doctors, and more if they are not held accountable. #StuyIsRacist.

We’re tired of having no one listen.

It crushed our souls.

Will you speak out for us?

Your silence makes you complicit.

Hold them, and Stuyvesant, accountable.

#StuyIsRacist #StuyWhileBlack #StuyWhileBrown #StuyWhileLatinx

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Stefany Aida Quiroz

Stefany Aida Quiroz

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