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View Diary: Wealthy white columnist enters Georgetown boutique, debunks myth of racism in America, exits (205 comments)

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  •  Does that happen to you frequently? (5+ / 0-)

    I ask because it happens to me all the time.  It doesn't matter where I am, what I am doing or even if I speak the language.  Chances are I will be stopped and asked for directions.  I have mulled some theories but I haven't really cued on what it is about me that makes people want to ask me directions.  It has become a family inside joke.

    "You have attributed conditions to villainy that simply result from stupidity"

    by newfie on Mon Aug 26, 2013 at 11:19:25 AM PDT

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    •  Sorta. Most often in places with few white people. (7+ / 0-)

      "Hey, let's ask that guy."

      Art is the handmaid of human good.

      by joe from Lowell on Mon Aug 26, 2013 at 12:15:17 PM PDT

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      •  lol Ever so often I look around for (6+ / 0-)

        black people to bother with my problems because I don't wanna alarm white people because I usually have at least one other black person with me and they make me look "blacker". I'm afraid they're going to react to two negroes approaching them. I live in Cleveland. You never know here what to expect and I just don't wanna any trouble.

        But being a lighter-skinned, kindda near-white-looking tiny woman, I'm completely confident about sometimes approaching white people and even police officers when I'm alone. I saw a police officer parked in Yonkers at 3am in the morning, stopped my car, got out and acted all cute and confused and he not only gave me directions, he let me follow him to where I was trying to go. He thought I was the cutest thing. I always wonder how cute he would have thought I was if I was with my black(er) boyfriend and we both approached his car at 3am.

        Light skinned/white privilege is really something. How I jump in and out of it depending on the ratio of blackness of the people I'm with is always in my mind, too. And the fact that I am often targeted for approach for any reason, whether it's people trying to sell me something or white people approaching me for directions because I look "harmless" speaks so many volumes about how people are perceived and how they perceive others.

        "It's not enough to acknowledge privilege. You have to resist." -soothsayer

        by GenXangster on Mon Aug 26, 2013 at 01:48:58 PM PDT

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      •  It doesn't matter with me. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Marko the Werelynx

        I was once stopped in Spain and asked directions.  It was a car full of Spanish speaking girls.  I don't think I look Spanish at all but they stopped and asked in Spanish.  When I told them I really didn't speak Spanish - in Spanish - and that I wasn't from there, they continued in Spanish.  I just smiled and shrugged my shoulders.  I've been stopped in other countries but usually it was where I could conceivably be mistaken for a native speaker.

        "You have attributed conditions to villainy that simply result from stupidity"

        by newfie on Mon Aug 26, 2013 at 08:26:52 PM PDT

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    •  I'm constantly being mistaken for staff in stores (7+ / 0-)

      I guess I must look like I know what I am doing (or else I fit people's stereotypes of what a "service person" looks like).

      We are the principled ones, remember? We don't get to use the black hats' tricks even when it would benefit us. Political Compass: -6.88, -6.41

      by bmcphail on Mon Aug 26, 2013 at 01:16:44 PM PDT

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