I’m never asked about hot sauce.

Christine R.
Ann Arbor, MI

Before I started dating my “black” boyfriend, I really didn’t think about race very much or the privilege I inherited with my “white” skin. There have been times that people have made rude comments or asked, what I would consider, overtly racist questions upon learning of our interracial relationship. However, I find the hot sauce question often posed to him interesting because I believe it is asked without malice. I have never been asked if I want hot sauce at a restaurant regardless of what I order. Never. I cannot count how many times my boyfriend has been asked if he wants hot sauce while dining out without much regard to his order. One time a waitress brought a bottle of hot sauce to him without asking if he needed it while saying “I know you will need this sweetie.” My boyfriend does not like hot sauce. I have dined at the same place in the same week with my brother, who ordered the same dish my boyfriend did earlier in the week, but there was never an offer of hot sauce. Some may think the question of hot sauce is an innocent one. However, assumptions have been made about my boyfriend’s preferences based on the racial category he is perceived as belonging to. What other preconceived notions are being generated about my boyfriend in addition to his love of hot sauce?


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