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Brownies First Person View Paper

In: People

Submitted By jreyn036
Words 965
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"Hello, my name is Laurel, but my friends call me “Snot”. I am an African American and in the fourth grade. I am going to tell you a story about my adventure at Camp Crescendo, a summer camp for fourth graders near the suburbs of Atlanta, Georgia. I announced that by the second day of camp, all the girls in my Brownie troop had decided they were going to "kick the asses" of every girl in Brownie Troop 909, who were all white girls. The other black girls and myself took a dislike to the white girls when we first saw them. Arnetta, our ringleader, said they smelled "like Chihuahuas. Wet Chihuahuas." When she said that they were like "Caucasian Chihuahuas," we all went into fits of laughter. They regard the word Caucasian as a hilarious term of abuse that can be used in almost any situation.
We all have seen whites before but have never had much to do with them. But the ten white girls we encounter at the camp are closer to us and, therefore, more real and capable of exciting envy and hatred.
At the end of the first day at camp, Arnetta reports she heard one of the white girls refer to Daphne, a black girl, as "a nigger." On prompting by Arnetta, Daphne, a quiet girl, nods her head to confirm that the derogatory term was used. Arnetta tells the other girls that they cannot let the white girls get away with using that word about them. She told us that we must teach the white girls a lesson. Janice suggests that they put daddy-long-legs in the white girls' sleeping bags, and when the girls awake, beat them up. Arnetta told Janice, to shut up and then announced that we are going to hold a secret meeting. She then turned to me and asked if I had plans to tell Mrs. Margolin, who was our troop leader, about the situation.
On the second day of camp, our troop ate our sandwich lunch by a stream that borders the field hockey lawn. Arnetta, for some reason, eyed the white girls from Troop 909 and then said she wanted to attack them right then and there, but the white girls were with their troop leader, which made the mission impossible. When the white girls left, Arnetta said they must find a way of getting them when they are alone. I told them that the girls will never be alone, and the only time they will be unsupervised is in the bathroom. Octavia told me to shut up and I didn’t because I’m not afraid of anybody, but Arnetta thought it was a useful piece of information.
We walked to the restrooms, which were messy, with leaves and wads of chewing gum on the floor. Arnetta said that when we meet the white girls there, we will be nice to them at first and then tell them what happens when they call any black girl a "nigger." Janice says that she will tell the white girls, "We're gonna teach you a lesson!” I asked what will happen if the white girls say they did not use the offending word. Arnetta dismissed this possibility and said that all we have to do is fight. An exception was made for Daphne, however, since we were doing that to avenge her. We left the restrooms, except Daphne, who strangely stayed behind, and picked up trash. Arnetta was asked about the secret meeting, and told them that we just had it.
That evening, just before the white girl’s bedtime, Mrs. Hedy, the parent helper, comes to their cabin. The girls, knowing she is depressed about her impending divorce, sing her favorite Brownie song for her. The girls are then reluctantly persuaded by Mrs. Margolin to sing "The Doughnut Song," a religious song which they all hate. Mrs. Margolin is tired and leaves to go to the lodge. Arnetta told us that it was time to go to the restroom, hoping that Mrs. Hedy will not go with them. Arnetta knew that the troop of white girls will be in the restrooms soon and will not be expecting an ambush. Mrs. Hedy indicated that the girls can go to the bathroom unaccompanied. She made Octavia promise to be good.
Daphne told me that she is not going with them, and I said I wasn’t going either. But Arnetta overheard me and insist that I come.
We make their way to the restrooms in the darkness, using a flashlight to guide us. We didn’t talk about fighting; we were all too frightened from walking through the woods at night.
When we arrived, the white girls were already there. Arnetta and Octavia went in first, instructing us to follow when they hear Arnetta say, "We're gonna teach you a lesson."
After about a minute, I heard one of the white girls deny that they had used the offensive word. Everyone else and myself decide to go inside, even though Arnetta has not given the signal. Inside, we saw five white girls huddled up against a bigger girl. Octavia whisperd to Elise that she thinks the white girls are retarded. The big girl denied it, but it is obvious to the others that she and all the other white girls are indeed mentally handicapped. Arnetta says they are just pretending, but Octavia, deflated, says that we should just leave. Janice came out the stall relieved, and for some odd reason, Octavia told her to shut up but her heart wasn’t in it. Octavia then told the big girl not to tell anyone or else she’ll be in trouble. Arnette added on to the conversation and told the big girl that she’ll be labeled as a “tattletale”.

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