Wait, You’re White?

27 Apr

I found this link on Jezebel about a blogger whose name is so black sounding that she would have trouble convincing people to take her seriously. People were completely racist and horrible, asking for another customer service rep or blasting the N-word in her face.

I had a similar but much easier problem when I moved to New York. Maybe the fact that my voice is sort of low, or that I’m from the midwest or I dunno, I am just who I am but when I was an agent people thought I was black. My name is innocuous I guess, and since the agent job is 99% on the phone I guess someone, somewhere decided that my patois or whatever was “black.” Now I don’t know what makes a black voice or a white one — Buddy Guy and Keith Richards sounded damn similar in Shine a Light. All I know is that more than once people sighed with relief when they met me. Which is disgusting.

Friday night we went to this amazing Ethiopian place in Little Ethiopia and not only did they have great food (and you eat with your hands which makes it heaven for me since I think utensils are the devils playthings, or at least, stupid) but the clientele was like crazy Benetton ads. I’ve never seen so much freaking diversity at a restaurant in LA.

Maybe we don’t talk about race in the right context, or maybe we just assume that with the lack of lynchings and no more Jim Crowe that the water may be hot but it isn’t boiling over. I don’t know, though. It seems to me that racism like this is insidious in an odd way — we’re not suffering from it acutely but we’re still suffering. We’ve adapted to the pain of it and we deal, because we think we have to. We really believe that humans are racists. Which makes no sense… DNA for racism? Really?

I hate posts like this. I think I have a point, but I don’t. I’m rambling. It is 100 degrees in LA and Ben got crazy ass wasted last night and sang loudly and we’re in the bedroom enjoying the A/C and nursing his hangover which is spectacularly unsexy.

I don’t really have a point, do I?

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