Allie Dowdle is a college student and is facing some harsh realities about her parents. The Memphis, TN student had to find out the hard way about the extent of her parent’s racism.
After letting her parents know her boyfriend was black, they forbade her to see him. But when she told them she didn’t plan on breaking up with him, they severed financial ties with her. No tuition. No cell phone. No nothing. But the parents now say that race had nothing to do with it.
Her father, Bill Dowdle, who owns a sporting goods store, told the Daily News that his daughter dating a black man may not be his “preference” because of “issues” involved with biracial dating in the South, but that it is not his place to pick who she dates now that she is 18.
The elder Dowdle said “it was never about race,” that he is not a racist and that his daughter’s statements about race are “a justification and gave her the moral high ground.”
He said that he and his wife would accept whomever their daughter wanted to date, but that he disapproved of both Michael and a previous boyfriend in part because Allie had started seeing them in secret.
The father said that he decided to cut off her college money because she has been spoiled and “it became obvious that she needed to go out in the world and grow up.”
Allie then took matters into her own hands, and figured to ask the public for help via GoFundMe.
About a year ago, I told my parents that I’d started dating a boy named Michael, pictured with me above. Hoping to share him with my family, I showed my parents his picture, and the conversation was over before it even began. My dad did not give me an option: he told me that I was not allowed to see Michael ever again. Why? Strictly because of skin color. It wasn’t a quiet “no,” either. I’ll never forget the yelling my parents did, when they expressed how disappointed they were in me, that I could do so much better. I did not know what to do. I couldn’t comprehend how someone could be seen as less because of pigment. I still can’t comprehend it, and I never will be able to.
Michael and I continued to see each other, but discretely. Over the past year, I’ve fought so hard to make my parents see Michael as a human being instead of just someone who is African American. I’ve advocated as best I know how. Finally, about a month ago, Michael and I approached my parents, but their response was much more drastic than I could’ve ever expected. As I am 18, my parents have chosen to no longer support my future, stripping me of all my resources including my personal savings, my car, my phone, and my education and leaving me on my own to pay for college. Unfortunately, I will no longer be able to attend college if I cannot come up with the money somehow. My parents also got involved with my school in attempt to get me removed from the organizations I’ve been a part of, like Coexist and Facing History and Ourselves, clubs that essentially encourage valuing and treating people equally.
I’ve applied and received some scholarship money through financial aid, including grants, loans, and work-study, but I still need at least $10,000 to cover the first year of my remaining out of pocket tuition for college by May 1st. I’ve been applying for scholarships and have tried to get a job, but I am still living under my parents’ roof because I have nowhere else to live, and my dad has done everything in his power to make the world difficult for me. I am not able to get a job because I do not have consistent transportation available.
And so far it’s worked and she’s raised over $13,000 in one day.