“The white man gave you the vote. He Christianized you and taught you how to speak English. If it weren’t for him, you’d still be living in a hut.”
1. “You’re really pretty for a black girl.”
I’m whiter than a whale’s tooth. Can’t do much about it. Not that I’m complaining. As a middle aged caucasian male I’ve been the beneficiary of just about every privilege society can bestow.
The center of the bus thundered half in laughter and half in shock at the audacious direction of this conversation.
I’m not going to lie: when my friends tell me about their study abroad experience, traveling around Europe and staying in hostels, I feel a little bit proud that I did the same thing — except in Africa.
Both Black people and White people, not to mention Latinos and Asians and the rest of the rainbow, all commit crimes daily. Many of them are racially driven, not just the White-against-Black ones that currently splash the headlines.
It occurred to me the other day that I love clinging to a sense of anonymity when I write, straying away from vast commentaries on my life or intimate personal details.
My question to you is a plain one: Do you think after reading the feedback, what you wrote was wrong in the sense that it took one experience with one person from one culture and made a generalization about an entire culture based on that?
But of course that is exactly the insidiousness of racism – that it is present even in our positive attributions of individuals and communities.
No, I don’t straighten my hair to fit in, I straighten it because it’s way easier to manage than leaving it natural.