I’m white and I’ve been living in the south for about 5 years and this crazy thing continually happens to me: white people see the color of my skin and assume, wrongly, that I harbor the same ignorance and racism that they do. Don’t get me wrong, I’m aware of my white privilege and I’m aware that I knowingly and unknowingly harbor prejudices but I work on this every day and try to become more and more aware of myself.
These white people will lean in conspiratorially and say things like “It’s dangerous there, you know, because they’re black.” or “Well blacks and whites shouldn’t marry it’s just wrong.” Or they will use the N word word around me and I’ll have to explain how that is A) extremely offensive and B) how they aren’t allowed to use that around me.
It’s frustrating to me that they look at me and wrongly assume I would just naturally agree with them, it’s frustrating to me that excuses will be made for these people, and I will be told to get over it, it’s how they are raised, they are too old to know better, it was just a joke, don’t take it so personally. It’s frustrating to me that in Twenty Thirteen I can’t date a man of color without stares and outright criticism. But what I’m most frustrated about is this uncomfortableness that I feel in these situations is roughly less then 1% of my entire life, but a person of color however, will have these experiences everyday.