When keeping it real goes wrong

Miami-Dade, Palm Beach and Duval counties are just a few of the counties that many students represent as their home counties, but it seems the representation of area codes has become more than just a way to distinguish the different cities and counties.

Throughout Florida A&M University, you can find many students who will proudly tell you where they’re from, and in the club, you can definitely find the crowd that throws up its area codes when its song is on or if the DJ says, “Come on and represent your town.”

Representing where you are from is fine. But when does it start to get too extreme?

As I observe my peers, I have noticed many instances when someone from one city does not like another individual simply because of where they are from. That person does not know anything about the other person except that they are from a so-called rival city, so the other person must be an enemy. This mentality has caused many fights on campus, and it separates us as a school and a race.

Throughout my time at FAMU, I have noticed many individuals let another person’s hometown form their perception of that person.

“She is from Miami, so she must be ghetto.”

Just because a person may be from a certain city stereotyped with certain characteristics, we shouldn’t allow those stereotypes to shape our perception of them. Let your personal encounter with the person be the judge of who they really are.The whole representing of your city has become a major social symbol on college campuses.

Students tend to hang with other students that share that same area code and are reluctant to accept people from rival cities into their cliques.

Walking around campus, you will definitely see young men rocking fitted caps with their area codes embroidered across the front for all to see. It is evident that we are all proud of where we are from, but it seems that representing your city is becoming more of a job to some instead being something done out of fun.

Duval says they are better than Miami-Dade. Tampa says they are the realest.

Instead of fighting over who has more credibility, why don’t we prove to the world that we as a people are better than what they see us as, instead of giving them more of a reason to doubt us?

Representing where you are from is cool, but throwing your hands up every time you are in someone’s face every time the song “Rep Yo’ City” comes on is not.

Show pride in where you are from, but respect others while you do it. And most importantly, respect yourself.

Alexandra Dor is a senior broadcast journalism student from Miami. She can be reached at alexandra_dor@yahoo.com.