But you’re not white, white.

Baltimore, MD

It was intended to be a compliment from a African-American woman to myself. I took it as that in the moment. Later I wondered how would it feel if someone said “But you’re not black, black.”

Keep the conversation going - comment and discuss with your thoughts

14 Responses to "But you’re not white, white."
  1. Frances Perkins says:

    Everyone expresses himself awkwardly at times.  Then again, not everyone outside the relationhip can always understand how good friends communicate.  Many years ago a dear friend got her first pair of eyeglasses, put them on, looked at me and screamed, “FRANCES!  YOU’RE WHITE!  LOOK!”  I took the eyeglasses from her, put them on, examined my arm and screamed back, “YOU’RE RIGHT!  HOW DID THAT HAPPEN?” Then I leaned closer to her and peered back.  “COOKIE!  YOU’RE BLACK!  AND I ALWAYS JUST THOUGHT YOUR MOTHER LEFT YOU IN THE OVEN TOO LONG!”  By then we were both doubled over laughing but somehow still managed to hug each other.  I guarantee you some onlookers had no idea what was going on, but Cookie and I did.  We were expressing our love in our own unique way.

    • Wisegirl says:

      What I really, seriously DO NOT understand is why, as a Conservative, my ideas are bigoted, but your ideas/opinions are not. I could listen/read all day, and no matter how educated, how many titles, whatever color you are , I’m a bigot. I do not believe in abortion because it kills innocent life, no other reason. Why am I a bigot? So  what I gather is that there is only one way to think :”robot”! I did learn by reading these posts today, feel like my knowledge level is through the roof now,  that Republican Allen West is not black, according to posts on TRCP today! Did anyone tell him?

      • Frances Perkins says:

        I’d have a lot more respect for so-called prolifers if they gave a rat’s behind about people after they’re born, but that’s not what I usually see.  Somewhere in the Gospel According to St. Matthew, around Chapter 5 or so, it has Jesus saying that as you treat the least of these His children, you are really doing the same to Him.  Quite frankly, most of what I’ve seen in so-called conservatism is as anti-Life as anything can get.  Don’t bother me for a list right now; there’s only so much room per post and I seriously doubt you’d listen anyway.  As Paul Krugman said, conservatives and liberals exist in different moral universes.  I hope he’s right, because I want nothing to do with yours.

  2. Kellee says:

    I’m black, educated, well-spoken…so friends and co-workers of other races usually comment “You’re not really black”.  I know they mean this as a compliment, but it’s insulting nonetheless that they think that the typical black person is uneducated…so much so that when they meet someone like me they prefer to categorize me as “not really black”. 

    • Frances Perkins says:

      I guess we’ll never become obsolete, then, will we?  With so many stereotypes left to puncture.  We’ll probably be at this the rest of our lives.  I have some inkling of how you might feel, because as a hard-left liberal I’M USUALLY ACCUSED OF NOT REALLY BEING AMERICAN!  At least here in blood-red TP Land where I retired 7 years ago.  I always claim it was only for financial reasons but sometimes I have to wonder if Jung would say I also wanted to insure against boredom.   About the only thing the local pitchfork people don’t accuse me of is not really being Irish.  They’re quick to latch onto that because they have such a treasure trove of bigoted ideas attached.  Little minds, Kellee… little minds.   

  3. Lolita says:

    I think what this person meant was you’re not like other white people. She most Likely thinks you’re cool and she can trust you. That comment was probably speaking more to what she thought of your character. Most blacks, if they are honest, will tell you they do not trust white people. Just as you have thoughts about us, we also have our thoughts about the majority of you.

    • Michael Sawyer49 says:

      ”Just as you thought about us”, thank you Lolita for demonstrating the double standard racism that is acceptable in the country, and proving the point of this card.
       ”we also have our thoughts about the majority of you”. Who is you??? Oh those white folks, ALL those white folks. You help keep racism alive in this country. Keep feeling it’s ok and keep watching racism strive.

      • Frances Perkins says:

        Take a remedial course in reading comprehension.  That’s not what Lolita was saying at all.  She’s merely acknowledging the fact that all groups have work to do in seeing and treating each other as equals.  Even at best we’re going to fall short at times, and those who truly mean well will listen to their brothers and sisters lifting them up with love.  That’s far from reverse racism – it’s a call to mutual effort of understanding.  GET THE GUNK OUT OF YOUR EARS!

    • American_Race says:

       Lolita, thanks for your refreshing candor.  I believe that this type of honesty is the aim of this project.  Well done.

  4. Caron says:

    I don’t know why people like to put others down, even their own race.  My best friend in high school her boyfriend (both of them are black) would call her an oreo because she had me a best friend white, liked alternative music, was in accerlerated AP program, ROTC,  and was on the dance team, the only thing she did do right was she was also on the basketball team.  She would cry but not dump his sorry butt, he was always trying to make her feel bad, that she wasn’t  “black” enough.  I had to be nice to him because he was her boyfriend when I really wanted to kick his butt but we both knew we did not like eachother;  him not likeing me cause I was white and he was certain I was a bad influence and me not likeing him because he didn’t like me for my color and treated my friend like crap.  We were always eyeing eachother like oh its you her other partner. She finally got rid of him.  I could never understand why he would put her down for doing good in school and belonging to groups that would help her to get into college.  I use to tell her was just jealous she had her stuff together and he didn’t.

    • Michael Sawyer49 says:

      thats the double standard racism that is accepted in this country, it’s sorry but get used to it.

      • Frances Perkins says:

        Better than ‘getting used to it’ is to knock the idiots on their royal heinies by outdoing them.  What you suggest is a form of submissiveness.  Would you appreciate it if someone suggested the same path to you in regard to the unfairness YOU experience?  I think not.  Otherwise you’ve already given up.  Don’t wish that on others.

  5. Angela H. says:

    They do.  When I hear that said to someone white or as a compliment to someone Black by another race, or as a dividing line among Blacks…. it all turns my stomach.  I wish I had a good comeback to demonstrate how demeaning it is to whoever is the object of the “compliment.”

    • Frances Perkins says:

      I don’t know, Angela – maybe it’s just something dumb that people say, like asking a person lying on the ground and covered in blood, “Are you hurt?”  Normally I consider myself the queen of the snappy comeback, but there’s not really much to be done with or even for people who make the race comment.  Unless maybe you can rise above it, smile, and say that you’re as proud of your own race as they must be of theirs.  Then maybe watch them squirm, if they have a conscience…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Tweets by Michele Norris