10 Things White People Need To Stop Saying To Me
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Politics and Activism

10 Things White People Need To Stop Saying To Me

*Looks into the camera like I'm on The Office*

10 Things White People Need To Stop Saying To Me
The Odyssey

As a person of color, I deal with all sorts of questions from white people, ranging from innocent to blatantly racist. You can only hear, "So, um, like, not to be rude or anything, but, uh, what's your race?" so many times before you start looking into the camera like you're on The Office. See, the problem with these "innocent" questions, is that they're not so innocent after all. These are examples of microaggressions or very small aggressive statements. Microaggressions are used to invalidate someone's experience or can be used to dehumanize them and they can be really hurtful, annoying, and/or damaging to someone's self esteem. So here, once and for all, are the answers to the questions that are on every white person's mind when first meet me.

1. "Where are you really from?"

I get it, I get it. Compared to your flour skin, my skin looks soooo ~exotic~. I couldn't possibly be from Lincoln, Nebraska. Even if my family has been in America for, like, four generations. We have to be from somewhere else, right? I must be a foreigner in your white-as-snow country.

2. "Can I touch your hair?"

[rebelmouse-proxy-image https://media.rbl.ms/image?u=%2Ffiles%2F2017%2F03%2F25%2F636260527943214754433052792_636257426049716260-224656820_ec84840a-1b6a-4545-ad91-c5de38a6cdb9.gif&ho=https%3A%2F%2Faz616578.vo.msecnd.net&s=138&h=7ba9b05cee952b35622ab884f66ad713045b78075b4a0c8859b05a379f4ab40d&size=980x&c=291605290 crop_info="%7B%22image%22%3A%20%22https%3A//media.rbl.ms/image%3Fu%3D%252Ffiles%252F2017%252F03%252F25%252F636260527943214754433052792_636257426049716260-224656820_ec84840a-1b6a-4545-ad91-c5de38a6cdb9.gif%26ho%3Dhttps%253A%252F%252Faz616578.vo.msecnd.net%26s%3D138%26h%3D7ba9b05cee952b35622ab884f66ad713045b78075b4a0c8859b05a379f4ab40d%26size%3D980x%26c%3D291605290%22%7D" expand=1]

No, Becky, you cannot touch my hair. I don't ask to touch your thin, stringy hair, do I? In fact, a lot of cultures say that hair is sacred and is not to be touched by just anyone. Plus, it takes a lot of effort to do hair, and I don't want you messing it up.

3."So, like, what are you?"

I'm a human being, Jessica, stop asking this question as if I have 3 heads and I'm from the planet Oo'niktu. I am a mixed-race black person. I'm not Latina, not Polynesian, and definitely not "some kind of Asian" (yes, somebody really said that to me).

4. "What's your native language?"

English! I definitely did not just have a 20 minute conversation with you in pig latin, Bob. No habla español. Ĉu vi parolas Esperanton?

5. "Are you related to [black person I most definitely am not related to]?"

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Probably not.

6. "I can't be racist! I have a [insert race] friend!"

I'm sure your friend of color appreciates you using them just so you can check off every color of the racial rainbow. If you say this, you are more than likely a racist! You can be unintentionally racist! Shocker!

7. "You don't sound Black."

[rebelmouse-proxy-image https://media.rbl.ms/image?u=%2Ffiles%2F2017%2F03%2F27%2F636261759456990883691728692_51fd2dfd-8b7e-464a-b10c-4a6c39d7716c.gif&ho=https%3A%2F%2Faz616578.vo.msecnd.net&s=919&h=684e16f265e8a78ff9b4224b9c21af378b32a723053768377150480313869e19&size=980x&c=3575574085 crop_info="%7B%22image%22%3A%20%22https%3A//media.rbl.ms/image%3Fu%3D%252Ffiles%252F2017%252F03%252F27%252F636261759456990883691728692_51fd2dfd-8b7e-464a-b10c-4a6c39d7716c.gif%26ho%3Dhttps%253A%252F%252Faz616578.vo.msecnd.net%26s%3D919%26h%3D684e16f265e8a78ff9b4224b9c21af378b32a723053768377150480313869e19%26size%3D980x%26c%3D3575574085%22%7D" expand=1]

Tell me, what is a black person supposed to sound like? I'll wait.

8. "Cracker is just as bad as the n-word!"

Look me in my eye and say that to me again. No amount of me saying, "crackers", "honkies", or "snow-monkeys" will make up for centuries of slavery and oppression.

9. "You're so pretty for a black girl!"

[rebelmouse-proxy-image https://media.rbl.ms/image?u=%2Ffiles%2F2017%2F03%2F27%2F636261765110051671972749790_fe46dcfd-4550-4d36-b188-87286594aa51.gif&ho=https%3A%2F%2Faz616578.vo.msecnd.net&s=298&h=10be916576af6ccb5895893f04eab32f04c216ea562ebc11ad0e9a7cab1ba038&size=980x&c=3562718398 crop_info="%7B%22image%22%3A%20%22https%3A//media.rbl.ms/image%3Fu%3D%252Ffiles%252F2017%252F03%252F27%252F636261765110051671972749790_fe46dcfd-4550-4d36-b188-87286594aa51.gif%26ho%3Dhttps%253A%252F%252Faz616578.vo.msecnd.net%26s%3D298%26h%3D10be916576af6ccb5895893f04eab32f04c216ea562ebc11ad0e9a7cab1ba038%26size%3D980x%26c%3D3562718398%22%7D" expand=1]

Thanks! You're so pretty despite being the descendant of slavers.

10. *sees me with my white father* "So, like, are you adopted?"

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Yea, from my mother's womb.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

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