Saturday, May 21, 2016

Racial Frustration

Some days are just racially frustrating. That's the best way to put it. I go to the grocery store and people look at me sideways. Some people (usually women) like to stare me down and try to intimidate me. Most of the time the person checking me out refuses to speak to me or make eye contact. I go to the gas station and the vibe is like I'm invading their space and children just stare at me like I'm some foreign entity. Sometimes they say racist shit under their breath, sometimes they say it dead to my face. Most of the time, I just try to be extra smiley and pleasant but sometimes I lose my patience and tell people to fuck off.

Now, this doesn't happen all the time. Sometimes I go out expecting to be treated like shit, but then everybody is really nice to me. That goes on a while and until I let my guard down and then BAM, it happens again. It can really ruin your entire day. You never really know what kind of day you are going to have, or the racist ignorance you are going to have to face. If only there was something that I could do about it. 

I had said in my first post that I'm not white, I'm Jewish. Well, clearly it's a lot easier to spot a black person than it is a Jew, especially when you lack all the popular Jewish attributes (stereotypes if you will) like dark hair, dark eyes, large nose, etc. I'm not delusional. I know that I'm white, per se. I just needed to illustrate that I am culturally different from other white people and white people know it. Aside from that, there's really no difference at all. Well, that's lucky for me.

I don't have to live in the hood. I don't have to spend my money locally. I can go almost anywhere I wish and have a completely different experience and on a consistent basis. Now imagine being black. Most of the time you just go about your business without incident (or at least you are so used to certain things that they don't ruin your whole day anymore). Some days you experience the same things I mentioned earlier, maybe even worse. It could happen at work, at the grocery store, the gas station, the pharmacy. Any place you go no matter what kind of neighborhood you are in, you are susceptible to mistreatment or ignorance because of the color of your skin. Black people can't even get consistently good experiences in their own neighborhoods let alone go somewhere else. 

It's just frustrating. You wake up in the morning and literally have no idea what to expect. Is it going to be a good day, or is some ass hat going to ruin it for you. You brace yourself and hope for the best. 

It is actually my white privilege to be racially frustrated. When a black person shows their racial frustration they are an "angry black person." I know I posted a piece called "White Privilege Doesn't Exist in the Hood," but the fact is, I'm safer in a racist black neighborhood than a black person is in a racist white neighborhood. Ask Kendrick Johnson's family in Lowndes County, GA. If the tables were turned, rest assured somebody would be held accountable.

White privilege is a real thing and I hope that I was able to illustrate at least a snippet of what that means for the naysayers. I also hope that my earlier posts were able to show that poor white people are not on an equal footing as other white people. Even if they can go anywhere else to be treated better, they are financially unable to do so.

Bottom line is, we are all human beings. Denying the experiences of other people because it doesn't happen to you is ignorant. Assuming things about other people because of their skin color is ignorant. Don't be ignorant. Always try to be a better person and if you can't leave somebody better off than you found them, at the very least, don't leave them worse.

To quote my favorite Price song:
"Dearly beloved, We are gathered here today to get through this thing called life."

No comments:

Post a Comment