A White Girl Touched My Hair

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

how uncomfortable

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/

something

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

speaking–

usually

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  (karnellesmith@gmail.com) or leave a message if you want to discuss further. We have to talk about it.

 

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3 thoughts on “A White Girl Touched My Hair

    1. I don’t think of it so much as rage, but as an expression of frustration and annoyance. It’s cool to look at it from another’s point of view! Thanks for helping me see this from a different angle.

      Like

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