“In the midst of getting my understanding of racial categories shaken up, I started thinking, What if, instead of categorizing people by skin color, hair color was the guiding physical attribute? To compare it to the way race works in America, I loaded up categories with narrowly defined assumptions. I imagined a world where redheads were perceived as smart and powerful, black-haired people as artistic, brunettes as able to work long grueling hours, and blonds as lazy. Also, to hold the analogy constant, I imagined entire families sporting a single hair color.”
– Debby Irving, Waking Up White and Finding Myself in the Story of Race
Does any of this speak to you? Did some part of you think wait, that doesn’t make sense…
I’ve been learning about what it means to be white in America.
It means being the default. Leaving my house confident I’ll be welcomed into any majority white space I enter. Being able to buy “nude” foundation, hose, or BandAids that basically match my skin tone. Renting a space without worrying people who look like me will have trouble getting in or be mistreated. Knowing the police won’t be called on me when I’m walking back to my house.
Linda heads up One Liner Wednesday on her blog. Click on over and check out some more participants.