FLASHBACKS (updated)

I'm currently working on the short stories that make up "Flashbacks." Each one is told in first-person point of view and shows the pasts of the characters from Eternal Rain and Eternal Storm. Some featured characters are Toki, Kita, Reka and Sharon, to name a few.

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"Prejudice"
Featured character: Sharon Stanton

Setting: southern USA, 787 A.E. – which does not stand for “After Earth,” but rather “After Exploration”. So what does that mean in layman’s terms? It means, at some point hundreds of years ago, things were different. I’m no history major, but way back when, the text books say, we had slavery, we ended slavery; we had a Civil Rights movement, we earned some rights and a little acceptance. When the earth was on the brink of ecological disaster, everyone banded together to find a solution. So why is it that in this day and age, I’m called an “oreo” by all the girls at school? Why is it that there are “white schools” and “colored schools,” “rich schools” and “poor schools”? We lived through an age when we thought the world would end and worked through it together. What happened to all that?

That’s what I was wondering when I sat at a desk in the back of the room, listening to the History teacher drone on and on about the pre-exploration era. I raised my hand and asked this question. “Why are things segregated again when it was illegal to discriminate based on race or nationality in pre-exploration years?” A couple of the kids in the middle rows snickered, knowing what was sure to come.

“Miss Stanton,” the teacher said curtly, “please refrain from disrupting class with irrelevant questions.” That was how he always dismissed my questions. It was always ‘we haven’t gotten to that point yet,’ or ‘focus on the current discussion, Miss Stanton.’ It irritated me that he called my question ‘irrelevant’. It was completely relevant; he just didn’t care to answer. “And, for your information, Miss Stanton,” he argued with me, “we do not officially segregate public properties. Therefore, the basis for your assumption is biased and incorrect.” With that, he went back to his droning. ‘Biased,’ my foot! He only added that because mine was the only black face in his class. But he was right about one thing: they couldn’t officially segregate schools – that was the only reason I was allowed to be here. Each class was required to have at least one student of a minority group. This was for the purpose of avoiding lawsuits.

Offended, I marched my black ten-year-old butt out of that classroom the moment the bell rang for lunch, with all the white girls calling me a ‘smarty-pants oreo’. That made me even angrier. I turned on them and gave it to them straight. “I don’t think I’m smarter than you. So stop calling me that.” And I left it at that and walked down the hall to the lunch room. I really felt that way. I didn’t consider myself any better or smarter than anyone else, and I wasn’t trying to show off by asking difficult questions. I just tried to talk like everyone else. If I was gonna be at a “white school,” I didn’t want to talk like someone uneducated. That would only make matters worse. Plus, my mom worked so hard to get me into that school. I wouldn’t let all that go to waste.