« Keeping it unreal | Main | Hurricane news »

August 30, 2016



My husband and I did experience "reverse racism" when we went into a small Japanese owned restaurant on Oahu to get something cheap to eat as grad students. We clearly were not wanted and the frowns on the owners and the cold way they treated us made that clear. As a white person who rarely experienced this, I do remember it. It was only one time in the year that I lived there, though.

barbara judge

Hattie -- good post! You say being white means being on top -- my thoughts are being white and a man means being on top -- in general that is. -- barbara


Tabor: That happens to me from time to time here, too, but it's not as if I am excluded. I had some problems at work, as well. But I felt there was no particular reason to take these matters personally. I had choices that others didn't have, after all. I chose my situation. All they had was what they could get, which was often not that much. I felt that it was up to me to assure them that I was OK and to avoid upsetting people.
Barbara: I think white women have privileges that black women and other women of color don't. For instance, in general men will not put their hands on us or chat us up without permission, nor will they necessarily assume that we are prostitutes if we stop to look in shop windows. Generally, we won't be singled out for attention when we don't want to be. Salespeople won't follow us around in stores assuming we might shoplift. As we age we are likely to get better medical and other kinds of care. Most of us white women aren't aware that everyday indignities are the commonplaces of life for women of color and very deeply felt by them. I'm privileged in that friends of mine who have experienced these matters have been willing to discuss them with me.


There are still very few ethnic minorities in Northern Ireland and it's still a surprise to see a black face. I think there's a general perception that if you're not white British you won't get much of a welcome so people settle in other parts of the UK. There are sporadic racist attacks on people's houses and no doubt job discrimination.

I wouldn't like to say I'm not racist, as there are so many subtle ways you can be racist without realising. Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie is very illuminating in that respect.


Nick: I could swear I read Americanah, but I'll be damned if I can find the book, and it isn't in my Kindle reader either.


Sadly, my carpetbagger parents raised me in the South. The came South with government programs designed to improve the lives of others. To some extent they succeeded.

I was quite shocked when I became an adult to discover how many white people OUTSIDE THE SOUTH have an opinion about Black Lives and know little about them. Moreover, as I grew older, I saw some of the most hateful behavior of one group toward another in northern cities.

I was a military dependent for 22 years and the military was integrated under Truman. thus my kids were raised in integrated neighborhoods. The rest of society has yet to catch up.

I lived in Hawaii for a while and had friends of all kinds.I still have relatives living on the Big Island. The ony Blacks I ever saw in the islands were affiliated with the military.

Obama's library is going in Chicago. I guess that says it all.


I think those of us white people who have been lucky enough to encounter people of color as co-workers and friends are just that -- lucky. On good days, we get a glimpse of what it might be like to live beyond tribalism. Not that we're there, but if human civilization is to survive, that's our future.

The comments to this entry are closed.

Cat trump
My Photo
Blog powered by Typepad