My last name is Bryant. Like Kobe Bryant. Whenever people ask my to spell out my last name, I usually just tell them that.
Sometimes I tell them that he’s my cousin and it always gets a good laugh from people, no matter what their race is.
You see, not only am I white, but I am the pastiest white person I know. And that isn’t hyperbole. In addition to bright blonde hair, I’ve got the complexion of an abnormally reclusive vampire. And, for my entire life, I’ve been obnoxiously pale. Burn-after-sitting-in-the-sun-for-a-few-minutes pale. Nicknames like “the Albino” in high school pale.
If anyone thinks that having skin like mine makes me, in any way, superior to *anybody* else, they’re delusional.
I’m not saying that I’m not proud of the person that I am — because I am. And I’m certainly not trying to marginalize any other race’s trials and tribulations with this anecdote.
I just think that everyone takes race a bit too seriously and that taking that discomfort and making it something funny defangs the issue. And the issue should be defanged! As a country, we’ve been too concerned about differences in skin color for too long.
People are just people. There are bad people in every race, just like there are good people in every race.
I think that, for a lot of people, it’s just easiest to chalk it up to something they can see, rather than actually taking the time to get to know a person. And that’s the kind of lazy ignorance that hurts people.