then again, maybe not
Closed for business

June 15, 2006

My skin isn't licorice flavored, either

Go read this post by Nubian, "funny things white people say to me".

white person: i have a question. since you are darker (she grabs my arm to
demonstrate that i am darker than her--as if had forgotten that i was black), do
you get hotter? i mean, you know how if you wear black, you retain more heat.

Sigh. It continues from there. I wanna play, too! 3 examples from people I know, here in Chocolate City, itself.

1. Here's a conversation with a White co-worker (WCW) and a non-white co-worker (NWCW) after I got back from a trip last year.

WCW: Hey, [thagmano], you look rested. How was your trip?
Me: Fantastic.
Lots of reading and sleeping.
NWCW: Yeah, you do look happy. And tanned.
Me: Got a sunburn on my back. Very ouchy. But worth it.
WCW: [confused expression] Uh…
Me: ?
WCW: You can get a sunburn? But… you're black.
NWCW: [oh no she di'int expression] Uh, everyone can get a sunburn
Me: Not robots…
WCW: [slinks away uncomfortably]

2. One of the hundreds of times I've talked about getting a tattoo, but punked out because I'm a big baby about the pain. This time with a guy my friend was flirting with at a concert. He'd just gotten his first tat.

Me: [blah blah blah, tattoo]
He: Hmm. Can you even get a tattoo? Would it even show up?
Me: Wha-huh? You know black people's skin isn't actually black, right? I mean, you can see me… [I just walked away…]

3. Another WCW, who walked into my office while I was making an
appointment for a haircut.

WCW: Sorry to interrupt
Me: No problem. I was just making a hair appointment
WCW: Oh, what are you going to get?
Me: Nothing, just a trim. I'm trying to grow out my hair
WCW: Oh, really? Why don't you just get a "weave" [she totally said weave like it was a word in a different language that she didn't understand]

A commenter over at blac(k)ademic said

As these white people haven't had any form of interaction with black
people, they can be extremely insulting and tactless when speaking to them. They
therefore need some sort of education system (maybe incorporated into the
school curriculum) which answers all these kinds of questions.

What? I don't understand why you need school to tell you people of other races aren't alien creatures whose physiology is so different from yours that you'd have to be taught how they work.




Comments:
hahah!

the tattoo one is the greatest! i went and got a tattoo once, and the bitch did a horrible job (i have 4 others and they came out perfect!) when i went back and demanded my money back, they told me it looks lumpy and fucked up because i had dark skin--like brown skin cannot even hold tatoos--although, they originated in cultures that weren't white.

white people. damn.
 
I'm afraid so.

if it helps, I have gotten the "but you don't *look* Jewish" business a number of times.
 
It's not just white people. I don't get the entitlement thing. Like, if you're different or fail to fall into someone's stereotype, not only do they feel justified in telling you so, but somehow it's your responsibility to explain yourself.
 
That and the whole *grabbing* people, not to mention the invasive questions. I'm like, excuse me? were you raised in a barn? personal bubble?! PERSONAL BUBBLE!!
 
I am light-skinned, and didn't know dark skin could tan, much less burn. I found out when my white boss told me (as though I knew) a story about someone else who didn't know.

"I mean, you can see me" is high-larious!
 
I don't understand why you need school to tell you people of other races aren't alien creatures whose physiology is so different from yours that you'd have to be taught how they work.

thagmano, while I am not disagreeing with the above statement, I do want to point out that in the comments to nubian's post, there was a person of color who was unaware that people of color are suceptible to both skin cancer and rickets. ignorance is just ignorance, and it's easily correctable with simple statements of fact.
 
Oh, white people. Today I was in the grocery store, standing in line behind a white woman. The cashier was a young woman. Out of the blue, the WW asked the checker, "What ethnic mix are you?" I stood there completely flabbergasted. The cashier (very graciously, imo) replied, "Oh Chinese and Italian." The WW goes on to talk about how Chinese makes really good mixes, especially with black. Finally she trundles off and the checker said, "I can't believe it. She made me blush." I told her that I thought she'd handled it amazingly, got my groceries and went on home.
 
Because I am heavily tattooed, people often grab me and touch me inappropriately or stare at me and point, use stage whispers, all that. Hello, I am a freak. ::rolleyes::

They also ask my advise on tattooing, and I'm experienced and well-read, and it's a risky process, so I don't mind if I have the time.

If you have fairly dark skin; say Wesley Snipes or P. Diddy, then you need to spend more time choosing an artist, making sure she/he is very experienced, and you should look in his/her portfolio for shots of work done on dark-skineed people. Otherwise there will either be scarring and lumps, or there will be too much fading And you still won't be able to get color in your tattoos; it'll be blackwork only.

The scarring/lumps/fade problem is a problem for anyone getting a tattoo from a less-skilled artist, but it's a much bigger problem for darker-skinned people
 
Heh. My black father didn't know he could get sunburnt until this last summer. The argument he had with my (white) mother about it was amusing.

Dad: Hey! *pokes arm* My skin's all red... and tight... and sore... what's going on?

Mum: You're sunburnt! Put some moisturiser on it.

Dad: Don't be ridiculous! I don't get sunburnt! *poke poke* It must be something else.

Three days later, when it started to peel, he was still denying it. It was the second time he'd ever been sunburnt, and the first was as a kid overseas.

Global warming, folks. It's real.
 
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