Brycen Bump Interview (On the Basis of Race)

Maria Vargas, Copy Editor

1. Tell me a little about yourself and your childhood. Where did you grow up and what was that like?

Right here in Frisco, TX. 

I’m not set up by any means. My dad’s the one who works for my whole family: my mom, my brother, and then me. Obviously I’m not driving any fancy cars or anything. Just living life one day at a time. All the faces around here are familiar, everybody’s warm and welcoming, I’ve never had a bad experience with anyone here in Frisco.

2. Did your family always have a place to live and food on the table?

Yes, it’s been rough, but yes.

3. What struggles have you faced in life?

Finding work, finding a place to work is difficult. My expertise is in construction, so I can do just about anything with my hands, which comes from experience and knowledge of course. 

4. What are some good memories you have of your family when you were younger?

Definitely the trips to Nebraska, we just visit family. Fishing, hunting with my dad. My mom is a stay at home mom so being around the house with her is fun, I always make some sort of joy out of it.

5. What has your experience been like as a young man who is white growing up?

I’ve never had it easy, I’m blessed to have the family that I have and have a roof over my head and food on the table. But, it’s not like I can get whatever I want whenever I want. The world doesn’t conform to me just because I’m a white male. I have to work for what I want. I had to buy my own vehicle, I’ve had to pay for all the maintenance, I had to pay for the insurance, I have bills to pay. I don’t have any special privileges when it comes to economic status or social status as a white male. At least not in my opinion, I’ve never been gifted or been that privileged. 

6. Have you experienced racism, either explicitly or implicitly?

My opinion on racism is it can go both ways. I’d say yes, being a white male people obviously, automatically off the bat because I wear boots and a cowboy hat think I’m a racist. Well, that in terms of itself is racist because you’re basing me off the color of my skin for my political opinions, my economic status, my social status. I don’t have it made, I have to work hard for what I want. I can’t just reach out and say “oh yeah this is mine now.” I’m definitely not like other people, I’m not saying I am. I know that there is a lot more explicit racism that obviously doesn’t happen to me because of the color of my skin, and it’s sad and horrible and I’d change it if I could.

7. Have you experienced sexism or other forms of discrimination?

Not sexism, but I wear a Trump hat to school and people don’t like me because of my political opinions. I’ve gotten threatened multiple times about my political opinions, I’ve had people wanting to “educate” me, slash my tires and break my windows out but it doesn’t bother me. I’d consider that being discriminated against. 

8. Why do you think people react that way to your views and wearing a Trump hat?

There’s a lot of hate in this world and I feel like people are so strongly held in their opinions that they automatically go to not liking somebody for having the opposite opinion. When it comes to situations like these it’s a very fragile place. You can say the wrong thing, you can think you’re saying the wrong thing but somebody else takes it completely different. Everybody’s got a tipping point. As I like to say people are entitled to their own feelings, not their own facts.

9. Is there someone you know who has experienced discrimination of any kind?

Yes, as a matter a fact, my girlfriend, Anneliese. She’s colored, she’s not white. She did this whole DNA test. She’s partly Mexican, 3% African American, and some other percent of Asian. I don’t know how true it is. 

Her friend’s dad was racist towards her and said her friend couldn’t hang out with Anneliese because of her skin color, he thought she was a bad influence.

As much as I wish we could get rid of all the racism in the world I don’t think it’s going to stop. Racism is taught, it’s not generationally passed down, so unfortunately we can’t stop it. 

10. Why can’t we stop racism from being taught?

You can stop teaching it but you can’t stop people who believe wholeheartedly that the world should be racist by teaching their kids to be racist. So, those kids end up growing up with the same mentality. 

People who do believe wholeheartedly in racism, nothing’s stopping them from teaching their kids to be racists or pushing their racist opinions onto other people. It’s sad and it’s horrible and I never will.

11. Do you think you grew up around racism?

No, absolutely not. I’m one of the least racist people in the world.

12. How did you feel when you found out all the details surrounding Breyonna Taylor’s and George Floyd’s death? 

Horrible, it’s horrible that people die, death is always a horrible thing, it’s never acceptable. I do believe that those cops were in the wrong, they deserve to be in jail. 

I’m not all educated on the Breonna Taylor case, I do know some facts and I do know some of what happened but I’m not 100% sure about the situation. When it comes to George Floyd that cop was clearly in the wrong. Kneeling on somebody’s neck for that amount of time is uncalled for in any circumstance. He was subdued, he was on the ground, he was in handcuffs, as far as I know. You don’t need to be on a dude’s neck for that long especially when he’s saying he can’t breathe. But, that cop was imprisoned, he got off on bail. If we could put him back in jail that’d be great. He did what the law gave him the right to do, he’s out and about, but he’s always gonna have that charge on him of course and I don’t think he’ll ever be a police officer with that charge on him.

It’s horrible, those cops were in the wrong. I’m not going to side with them.

13. Tell me about the BLM movement.

So from my understanding, the BLM movement is a movement to stop police brutality. They’re against racism in the world, they want to fight it. No more racism basically. And then the changing of what they think is systemic racism.

I don’t think we have systemic racism, I think we have racists in the system. As much as I want to go through and root all of them out, but I’m not sure who is racist and who is not. Anybody could have that biased opinion and not show it. 

I personally do not support the BLM movement because it’s not all Black lives matter. There were four to six kids who died on the fourth of July weekend, they didn’t march for them. They didn’t march for Nipsey Hussle. They don’t march for the Black-on-Black crime that is happening all over the United States. And I feel like that’s wrong if you’re going to march for the Black lives, march for all of them. They matter just as much as the next person. I’m not trying to dog their movement because I understand what they’re marching for but if you’re going to support one Black life you’ve got to support the rest. 

One of the co-founders of BLM said that they’re trained Marxists, on tape, and I do not believe in that. Marxism is horrible.

14. Who said that people who started BLM are trained Marxists?

I did research from multiple sources, I can’t name the sources. I can’t remember the sites that I pulled that information from.

 15. Can you explain what Marxism is?

So from the research that I did, it takes ideology from socialism and communism and puts it together and makes it seem fun. It’s so hard to explain. It came from Carl Marx the founder of Marxism, it’s like another form of economy. 

16. Final comments on BLM:

I understand their movement. I just don’t think they’re going about it the right way. The peaceful protests I’m all for. The riots, burning buildings down, killing people, trashing streets and cities I’m not for. I understand that they’re marching for police brutality and racism, and I’d go out there and march right next to them but I don’t believe in what they’re standing for which is Marxism, and I just can’t get beside that agenda. Tearing down what America was built on. Not racism, America was not built on racism. But the freedom of the Constitution we have today, I can’t get behind tearing that down.

17. What freedom of the Constitution are you saying the BLM Movement is tearing down?

On the actual BLM website, it says they want to disassemble the “nuclear family.” My understanding of that is what everyone sees as a typical family household: mom goes to work, dad goes to work, everybody’s happy-go-lucky. I don’t understand why they would want to tear that down. I don’t understand why they would want Marxism. I’m not saying every single person who supports BLM wants that. But, the organization itself is just wrong. 

18. Comments on ALM:

I believe in the fact that everybody should be treated equally. Which means that not one race should be put over another, not one sex should be put over another, not one person should be put over another. I swore into the United States military swearing to protect the Constitution. What I believe the ALM movement is saying is all lives matter. Every single Black life matters, every single white life matters, every single Mexican life matters, every single life matters. No matter what you look like, no matter where you come from, no matter what language you speak, you matter.

What the ALM is saying is that all lives matter including Black lives. But, what that ALM movement is saying is if you’re going to support Black lives you better support all of them. I wouldn’t say that I’m a part of either, I would say that I agree with one more than the other (ALM) but I kind of just mind my own business and have my own opinion. I don’t like to be associated with any type of group.

19. What impact has this movement had on you?

It definitely affects my future because I want to be a police officer when I get out of the Marine Corps and right now they’re really pushing to defund the police and abolish the police, which can affect my future. It can affect anybody else’s future that wants to be involved in any other type of law enforcement. So yes, I believe that it will affect me in the future if major steps are taken to defund and abolish the police. Cutting the funding of police forces I do not agree with. You cut down the funding you cut down on equipment, training, and the amount of police. They’re going to have to get rid of people, they’re going to have to cut wages, and nobody’s going to want to go to that job. You can’t live off of $10,000 a year. Rerouting the funding I can get behind but taking away the funding I can’t get behind. 

20. Critics of the BLM movement point to the destruction of property and violence during the summer and beyond and claim that rioting isn’t the way to change society. What’s your response to that claim?

I completely agree. The destruction or trashing of buildings, the riots, unacceptable. Even from the white supremacists. If you want to go out and make a change in the world and voice your opinion it should be done in a peaceful manner. And if you receive retaliation from it keep it peaceful. You can’t fight fire with fire. You’re just adding fuel to the flame. 

The white supremacist group causing and being a part of the destruction I don’t agree with. I don’t support them in the first place but I definitely don’t support that. 

21. How did you feel when you found out peaceful protesters were tear-gassed by police following orders from President Trump so that he could get to a church to take photos?

If they’re truly peaceful then just leave them alone. But, if you’re doing crowd control, teargas is not going to hurt you. It’s going to burn for a little bit, it’s going to make it hard to breathe for a little bit, it’s going to make your eyes water, make your throat burn, but in the long run, it’s not going to kill you.

For the president getting to the church, I’m not sure about that one. I’m not denying it, or saying it is right or wrong. I just don’t know the situation.

Tear gassing peaceful protesters is never going to be right. But, I do feel in some situations it was necessary. If the police are trying to move that group, which is hundreds of people if you compare that to a police department you’re outnumbered ten to one. If they’re trying to push a group to a different part of the city or calm them down I can see why they were using those methods (teargas) to get them to move or disperse. I know that they’re not going to walk up and just start chucking teargas grenades everywhere.  I’m pretty confident that they would give them verbal warnings beforehand. 

22. Can you speak on what you think about systemic racism?

I don’t think that the system is racist I think there are racists in the system, and those racists can have an effect on different things, and it’s horrible but I don’t believe the system itself is racist. The system hasn’t changed for years and it’s just now becoming a problem. Which I do believe at one time it probably was, but I don’t believe it is now.

23. What role does systemic racism play in our society? How are POC affected by it?

Well obviously not good. They’re not going to get treated good by the racists in the system. Although I do believe that nine times out of ten you are not going to encounter that situation. Again, I don’t live their life, I’m not them I don’t have the same experiences as they do. But as far as I know in the system that we have now you have POC that are making a name for themselves, they’ve got more money than I will ever have in my life. So, I definitely don’t think that any system is stopping anyone from doing what they want to in life. I do believe that everybody has an equal opportunity to do what they want in America.

24. Have you been affected by systemic racism?


25. Where do we as a country need to go from here? 

I believe for us as a country we definitely need to all get along. But I do believe that once again people are entitled to their own feelings and not their own facts and it’s not always going to be your way or the highway.

I really do believe that people just need to suck it up. Just move one with their lives. Go out, make your money, provide for your family, go to work, go to school. Do what you need to do and move on.