On September 21st, I went to the Ohio Theater to see Dr. Neil DeGrasse Tyson perform a speech on astronomy. At the end of his speech Dr. Tyson talked about how when he was just getting into the field of science and even when he was becoming a successful astrophysicist, how no one ever wanted to address him as a colleague and how they treated him as if he was never good enough. Dr. Tyson went on to mention that when he was he was younger his interest in science was never supported by his community. “African American boys are expected to be athletes or dancers, not scholars.”
Dr. Neil Tyson is one of the nation’s most recognized astrophysicist. He has written 11 popular books and has hosted many popular television/radio shows and specials. Over the years he has earned 9 college degrees, has received many awards and honors, and is now making thousand of dollars. Though he is well-known and known to be highly educated and successful, he said that he is forced to deal with indignities provoked by cops, store owners, and his colleagues. In one of his books he stated that because the color of his skin he is treated as less intelligent and less deserving. “They were just fuel to my fire. Instead of getting discouraged, they just helped bring out ambitions in me that I didnt know I had.” He also stated that by him being an African American scientist that more is expected from him because of his race. “There’s an extra social tax I have to pay. It’s not a burden, I just have to pay the tax.”
If we are in a time where we say we don’t look at the color of skin and that everybody is equal, why are we still seeing so many examples hatred and inequality? We really need to get it together!