As a black person who tries to ingnore or pretend racism does not exist, from time to time, it sitll gets under my skin. Here are ten harmless remarks that make me think a person is racist.
Harmless rasict remark 1. “You are not like those other black people”. The first time I heard this, I did not know what to say. What do you say to that? Errr… Thanks? Now I know to say, “No thanks”. I am like those other black people. I am black. There is nothing more or nothing less. How I could be more or less black by demeanor or behavior is a mystery to me.
Harmless rasict remark 2. “I have Black Friends”. My response is… SO! Should I applaud? Should I bow to my knees and praise the almighty friend of the black people. I have white friends, but I do not wear a banner that proclaims it.
Harmless rasict remark 3. Comparing them to a random black star: My husband was once personally affronted at a business function. The company was comparing employees (all white) to celebrities. In all of the comparisons, there was an obvious connection in demeanor or look. The last person on the screen was my husband (not white). He was compared to Snoop Dog. Snoop Dog???? Everyone roared with laughter. OK. Stop for a minute and picture my husband. He has been mistaken for Arsenio Hall in his younger days, and most recently Mr. Bigsley on the Disney TV Show, the Suite Life of Zack and Cody. His personality is a lot like Carlton, the cousin of The Fresh Prince. Was Snoop Dog the only celebrity they could find? Not only was my husband not amused, but also his feelings were hurt.
Harmless rasict remark 4. Why do black people…? (fill in the blank) Honestly, in most cases, we do not know. I have been asked why black people did not leave New Orleans, why black men wear saggy pants, and why do black people talk in movies. You know what; the next time you catch me talking in movie theatre stop and ask me then. My favorite question is “Why do black women have attitudes? It is probably because of all the stupid questions!
Harmless rasict remark 5. “Your people” or “You people” Do you mean my parents, children, husband, spouse? That is just a horrible way to start a sentence. Please do not say it.
Harmless rasict remark 6. “Are you tanning? or Why are you tanning?” If I am lying on the ground or lawn chair in the sun with very little clothes on, the answer is yes, I am tanning. The follow up question is then why. I tan because my skin color is uneven. May I suggest you go ask the person 10 feet away who has no melanin to protect themselves from skin cancer that question?
Harmless rasict remark 7. “Do you play basketball”? Some of us do. However, it really annoys black people that so many non-black people use this question as a conversation starter. Next time just ask, :what is your favorite sport? You might find a golf, tennis, or soccer enthusiast.
Harmless rasict remark 8. Calling us “white”: How do you look a black person in the eye and tell them that they are “white”, or not black. Is that supposed to be a compliment? Many black people seem no different from people of any other color. That does not make us less black. That just makes us more human.
Not So Harmless rasict remark 9. Using the “N” word. As recently as last year, I heard someway refer to an alcoholic drink as an “N-word” drink. Now while it was not said to my face, it was said loudly in my presence. I don’t know if this one really counts though as this person didn’t care if I thought he was racist or not. He was.
Not So Harmless rasict remark 10. Referring to white people as the devil: This one is for my black brothers and sisters. It offends me when you turn to me and make racist remarks against white people. Enough said.