a white girl touched my hair
yesterday. She just went
for it like it was allowed.
I was caught off guard.
A white girl told me
she felt when she realized
she was the only white person
in the room.
Welcome to my world, I thought.
I’m usually the only /black/woman/black woman/
in a room.
I was told, You don’t sound black,
when I showed up for a face to face interview.
(I didn’t get the job; I must not have been qualified)
White girls like me because,
and I quote, I’m “not like
those loud black people.”
Black girls don’t like me
because I “act white”
I maintain my composure
when someone say’s [insert racist remark]
followed by, no offense. I usually
let them know I AM offended
and they should think, think hard before
I’m less sensitive about racial comments than I used to be, sadly because I get this kinda stuff all the time. But sometimes shit still gets to me. Sometimes it still hurts my feelings. I usually say, “Hey. Stop it.” But that’s not enough. I need to ALWAYS say, “Hey! STOP IT.”
People will always say things, racial things, unintentional things that raise your hackles. People will do things too. I find the most offensive act is degrading a culture or ethnicity and then trying to get a pass by saying no offense. To me that’s like saying “I know this is wrong, but I’m doing it anyway!” We all need to learn so much more than we already know.
We all need to talk and keep talking. We need to talk through those deeply uncomfortable moments and then talk some more. We need to experience worlds so completely different from our own until we understand what life and everyday is like for others. We need to know it down in our marrow. We need to understand that all people can and do have prejudices, it doesn’t just go one way and that issues within ethnic groups are just as troubling as the issues between different ethnic groups.
I could keep writing and writing but I won’t clog up the blog this way. Inbox me (firstname.lastname@example.org) or leave a message if you want to discuss further. We have to talk about it.