On Saturday, March 10, 2012. I sat in my company break room…just chilling out. I wasn’t really hungry. I had been sick for the past week, so I just settled for a cheap frozen meal and watched CNN news. About 10 minutes after sitting down to eat; a coworker (who shall remain nameless) came into the break room. She’s a young white girl (trailer trash) who is living with a Black guy and has 2 children with him. Another young coworker; a young college student who happens to be Black, began a conversation with the white girl. Somewhere during my attention to the news; my focus was averted by the white girl when she made a comment to the Black girl, as she stepped out to go to get her lunch: the white girl, for some unknown reason, chose to reveal to the young Black girl, that one of her babies didn’t like dark-skinned Black people. The Black girl was dark-skinned as well. I just glared at her. She went on…and on…about how if her baby saw a dark-skinned Black person, he would cry and scream. OMG! Was this really happening? I was having an encounter. There were 5 Black people in this section of the company break room. 3 Black males as well as myself, and the girl who stepped out to get her lunch.
First of all, as I stared at this girl; I had to really take a 60 second break and check myself before I jumped up and slapped the hell out of her. When I composed myself internally, it was at this time that I confronted her. I demanded to know what in the hell gave her the audacity to make such a statement–with such impunity, in a room filled with Black people? I then told her that her comments were out of line. The racial issues in America right now, as well as in the past, should have served as a meter stick as what to say and not to say to people, particularly if one was not educated about such perimeters. She tried to defend herself–of course. Her attempts at trying to justify what she said were absolutely comical–but no one was laughing. During the course of this exchange, she had the nerve to say that “all of her friends are Black” and that her baby would not have a problem with me (I’m not dark-skinned). Oh, how magnanimous of you to say this to me. Sort of like putting more sh*t on top of bullsh*t, ya think?
White folks, particularly in the south, have a reputation for liking lighter-skinned Black people–and per usual; how typical white folks try to justify what they do–when they realize they’ve been caught “thinking like a bigot.”
What struck me the most was the ignorance in this young woman. She really didn’t get it.
This would have been very hurtful even if a Black person had said this, but the fact that it was coming out of the mouth of a white chick was absolutely incendiary. She had no fear of any kind in making the statement, which led me to conclude that she most definitely felt as though she would not be challenged. *The Audacity of White Privilege*
This is one of the reasons why many African Americans detest white women and interracial unions in general. What are these women passing on to their offspring? To have a child that harbors such a bias can only be attributed to certain behaviors, cultural cues and bigotry being perceived by one or both parents.
During slavery, skin color was used as a Divide and Conquer strategy as a way to keep the slaves separated, as not to become a threat to their white slave masters. This is a fact of history.
What really galled me the most is that not one of the Blacks in that break room spoke up–even though this white girl was disrespecting not only Black people; she had no sense of shame in what she said and thought nothing of their feelings.
Yes, you can still be in an interracial relationship and still be a racist.
I’m living in Georgia. And I can say that one of the things that I despise about this place is how Black people, still, in 2014, are so afraid of white folks, to the degree, that they would sit in silence as some ignorant piece of white trash basically dumps crap on them. It’s one of the reasons whites in the south think they can say anything they want to or about Black people and not fear retribution. The sad reality here is that Black people who allow this still must harbor deep intrinsic feelings of inferiority and have low self-worth.
I was raised in Chicago, IL. I have respect for myself, and no one; and I do mean NO ONE. is going to make racist or ignorant statements, as this woman did, and walk away. No way! It is my responsibility as well as other Black people to check racism when it is being demonstrated either directly or indirectly.
Honestly, I could have gotten this woman terminated, but you know what; I really didn’t want to do that. The greatest punishment she can receive is to have to look me in the face every single day…knowing that she’s been exposed.