The Scared White Boy Complex

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Let’s talk racism, particularly racism between white people and black people, and the scared white boy complex. What the scared white boy complex is, is the idea that white people have that all black people are these scary creatures that are out to steal and hurt all of the white people. This was me as a child. I was the definition of a scared white boy.

I grew up in your stereotypical, predominantly white, suburban town. The one big difference is that our town was right inside the borders of a county, which is about 90% black. Going to elementary school I was in my comfort zone with all my little white friends, but then came middle school. Middle school started mixing in all the kids from about 5 different elementary schools, and suddenly the scary black people were in my classes. Even then it still wasn’t all that mixed because they separated the classes by the “gifted” students and the “average” students. Most of those “gifted” kids were all the kids who came from the white elementary schools. I was still young enough at the time to be playing in pop warner football so I was still playing sports with mostly white kids. High school was a whole different animal though.

High school is really when the scared white kids had to start mingling with the scary black kids. I gave up football and started to wrestle. Like I said, I was in a county that was about 90% black, so most of the people I wrestled were black. My freshman year I was very intimidated by the black people I’d wrestle, who were usually a lot stronger than the white kids. I was a pussy back then, and got my ass beat pretty good that year. Then about halfway through my sophomore year I stopped looking as the black guys I was wrestling as the big scary black dudes, and I started viewing them just as an opponent. This is when the tables started to turn for my wrestling career, and I started doing good. Throughout the rest of the time I wrestled I wasn’t the scared little white boy that so many of my teammates were, and they weren’t scary black people to me anymore. Those guys turned into competition, practice partners, and ultimately friends. This is one of the reasons that sports like wrestling, football, basketball, and track are so great. They force people together to fight for the same goals, so that suddenly things as stupid as skin color start to become irrelevant.

The scared white boy complex does not just apply to children and teenagers though. It applies to most white people throughout America. They live in areas tucked away from all the “thugs” and “criminals”. The black people that live near them “act white”. If these white people were to actually start to interact with the so called “thugs” maybe their opinions might change. I see stuff in the news or on the internet all the time where grown men act like that scared little white boy intimidated by the black people. Maybe one day that frightened boy will grow into a man confident enough in himself to be able to look past the stereotypes.

-MK