“I was in the Army at the time. I loved being a soldier, but as a mixed-race woman, I unfortunately had to deal with sexism, racism, and sexual harassment and assault. However, one particular story comes to mind: I was speaking with another soldier, discussing our past education. I mentioned that I went to a private, college-prep high school and received a full scholarship for a four-year university, where I’d gotten my degree. An officer heard our conversation and, in extreme shock, loudly said, ‘You went to college?! Seriously, YOU went to college?!’ The soldier I was speaking to immediately picked up on how demeaning, condescending, and disrespectful that was — especially given how I was sick of the harassment during our deployment.”
“I used to fire patriot missiles for God’s sake! It felt as if everyone would tell me, on a daily basis, that I did not belong there. Luckily enough, I am quick-witted.
I looked at the officer with a straight face and replied, ‘What is shocking about the fact I am college educated? Because I am Black or a woman? I know being outside the ghetto and kitchen is scary, but I have managed to find my way.’ The look on that man’s face was absolutely delicious!” —Anonymous, Texas, 34