Ashamed that accomplished minorities surprise me.

WP_002264-squareDaniel Robbins,
Seattle, WA.

No matter how liberal and progressive I might claim to be, no matter how many workshops I’ve been to or essays I’ve read about privilege, I still hear my inner voice express pleasant surprise when I see a minority doing well at something. Whether I see a minority excelling in business, writing an editorial in the national press, or doing rounds in a hospital, inside I first say, “wow, look at that!”

I am not proud of this and I don’t know how to fix it.

Keep the conversation going - comment and discuss with your thoughts

  • alternatesteve2

    Dan, don’t beat yourself up over that, okay? In fact, it seems to me, at least, that you are genuinely supportive of equality, and progress made in that regard…..as far as I’m concerned, that’s nothing to be ashamed about. =)

    • barry irving

      ….he has issues…that is clear, so there is work for hi to do..to just say I have these automatic biases that don’t make sense and then do nothing about it?…That’s another problem. If you’re OK with yourself then there is no issue to present! Dan acknowledged that he is surprised when he sees that people of color are competent…that proves that he is affected by the Institutionally negative prejudices that have been part of America from the beginning!

  • barry irving

    …relax, the worls’s a big place and you don’t know everyone. There are people of color who are doing better and worse than you. White people in America are indoctrinated by the myth that they are a superior color based ethnicity. in fact, Whites are an amalgamated group of various ethnicities from Europe…many of whom were at one time considered to be non White. If you don’t mix and converse wit different people, you can’t say that you know them. so just don’t believe the hype!

  • Ethan

    Dan, the fact that you can acknowledge this says a lot about your character and self-awarenesses, and would argue this isn’t necessarily something that needs to be “fixed.” Only when this biases your interaction with that high-archiving person of color, does it become problematic. I appreciate your comment and reaffirms why I relocated to Seattle.

  • christopherallen

    It’s what I figured most whites think but never say, so i truly appreciate the honesty. Your words are far less insulting than keeping those thoughts in the back of your mind or relegated to those safe moments when everyone else around you is white. A friendly co-worker with no filter whatsoever told me most innocently that I speak better English than he does. That came from a place of ignorance and can be insulting for obvious reasons, but i recognized that his intentions were to compliment, for it seems that articulate black people have not been the norm in his experience.It tells me that we still have a long ways to go in altering racial-ethnic perceptions for the better, and, perhaps, that my co-worker needs to get out more.

    • barry irving

      …it still is an insult that comes from institutional indoctrination and it should be called. Sometimes you have to embarrass a person into seeing his bigotry. It all does it’s dirt even in the form of light racism.

      …I’m puzzled by you being so magnanimous when you were stereotypically addressed…why do “WE” have a long ways to go when it was “HE” who was ignorant?…it’s as simple as ‘WHATEVER DO YOU MEAN BY THAT?…I’D LOVE TO HEAR IT!

      • christopherallen

        we= society. I see you have a penchant to make a whole lot of something from nothing. So far, I find you unpleasant to converse with.

        • barry irving

          ..no matter, I am direct even if it hurts…this is serious. As Desmond TuTu once said, ” We (Africans) are accommodating to whites… sometimes to a fault”

          …Today the societal We is a non existent entity…it is hopeful and theoretical…to most, the we is… “we who look like us”. “WE” …”ALL”, need to make tremendous headway in the field of Race and the historical issues that Race in America presents.

          • christopherallen

            directness is always received and given on my end. That’s not a problem. You’re unpleasant because you’re annoying, you’re annoying because you like to misconstrue and assign your own meaning to others words and experiences.

          • barry irving

            …that’s an excuse…nothing I said would be annoyng to someone who is being honest. You are NOT…what annoys you is that you have no response!

  • Stacy Lucking

    You must not know very many people of color to begin with.

 

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