Archive for March, 2010

h1

Questions people of color get asked

March 29, 2010

Penney’s department store counter; Northgate mall. Seattle. A mom pays for a purchase while her 6-year old son plays with his toy; rolling it on the counter. “Is that yours?” the clerk asks the boy. “Yes, It’s my toy” he replies.  She continues on with the transaction and says to the child, “Did you get it over there on the shelves?”  The mother interrupts, “No, that’s his toy.”   Read the rest of this entry ?

Advertisements
h1

I don’t want to be colorblind

March 19, 2010

A black friend of mine told me about a colleague who said to her, “I don’t really see you as black.”  She was insulted. She is proud of being black. Read the rest of this entry ?

h1

I didn’t think you’d go that far

March 17, 2010

A white woman, in her 70s, told me a story about a baby shower that was planned to celebrate the arrival of her newly adopted daughter.  The woman, whom I will call Jane, had participated in giving and attending many baby showers within her work and church communities. Now she was excited to have those friends doing a shower for her. It was all very joyful until she passed around a picture of the baby girl she was adopting.

Read the rest of this entry ?

h1

It’s who you know and how you look

March 12, 2010

Edgewater Park and Silver Beach Gardens, nestled away in a corner of the Bronx,  sound like attractive communities in which to live. But there are some serious blemishes revealed by a newly-filed lawsuit. If your skin is white, you are likely to be welcomed into the  communities which operate as co-operatives and require three letters of recommendation from current residents for you to join the neighborhood. If you are black, well, here’s what you can expect, as detailed in the lawsuit: Read the rest of this entry ?

h1

Babies and whiteness

March 6, 2010

Twice in the past two weeks, I’ve gone shopping for a baby card for two different couples I know who are joyously expecting a new wee one.  I’ve seen some lovely photographs of babies on cards: cute baby feet, soft baby hands, babies being cuddled.  All of them white.  My friends are people of color.  I have looked in multiple stores and have had to settle on generic cards showing baby outfits or peas in a pod.

Read the rest of this entry ?

h1

Filling the box of difference

March 5, 2010

I walk down the street and I notice difference. I classify it according to what I’ve been taught. I sort, name, and put into categories. I draw tightly defined boxes around others I meet, often before we ever speak. My boxes have been designed by those in power to contain difference out of fear of the other. I have been filling these boxes for many years.

Read the rest of this entry ?