123Valerie Strikes Again

Unprecedented Self-Indulgence.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

The Weight

Because I am a white person, I have the luxury of complaining when someone prejudges me, rather than the daily confrontation and societal disappointment that my loved ones of color must endure.

I am keenly aware of the ignorance this world harbors, and it saddens me. Therefore, I'd like to pre-empt this post with a message that I was raised correctly in a family—and with peers—that celebrated differences. We were taught to understand and embrace, rather than exclude or persecute. We also ran around naked a lot and worshipped Goddesses. Whatever.

So, because it doesn't even occur to me, I find it extremely unnerving when people judge me based on my skin color. I wish I were alone in this, my pretties, and I am sorry if this experience pales in comparison to a real episode of intolerance that you may have experienced, but, well, this blog is about the events in my life, so bear with me.

At a store this morning, there was a long line. A woman, who happened to be African American (no, really. Nigerian, I think, based on the accent), politely asked the lone Indian (Bangalore) cashier if she could call for help because the line was building. An appreciated request on behalf of all.

So, the help (Guatamalan--she wore a national flag pinned to her smock) came up front, saw me standing second in line, swiftly grabbed the three items out of my hands before walking to her cash register then ordered me to, "Come over."

I don't know why—maybe my ultra-red hair or my complacent nature stood out to her. I simply said, "Uh, okay," and waddled over to her register.

As I swung around, the African American woman who requested the help and had since moved over said, "Where the hell did this white bitch come from? Trying to get to the front of the line? I'm not surprised."

I was mortified, my pretties. I'm not that person; you must know that. But, I am also not someone who tolerates untruths, so I said, "I'm sorry. She told me to come over."

"Whatever you say, white bitch."

Now, I can overlook ONE irrational comment—we're only human, kids. But, twice? Well, it just offends my sense of truth. Had she said:

"Whatever you say, white drunk ass."

Or

"Whatever you say, white girl who should do more crunches."

Or

"Whatever you say, white girl who needs to get laid," I would have probably given her a High Five. But, kids, I'm not a bitch. Never have been. That hurt my feelings. So, you know what I did to get back at her? I helped a young black gentleman carry his bags to the car.

I would've done it anyway, watching him struggle the way he did, but it felt damn good to see her mouth gape in surprise as I offered to help with some of his burden.

In the Comments section, tell me about someone ignorant or, preferably, benevolent you've come across lately. I'll help the winner carry bags to their car.

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