I was raised in the kind of home that telling a racist joke would surely get me punished. Not that I told racist jokes. I didn't know to. Because I was raised to not know there was a difference. Which is why I get so irritated when I get accused of being racist. As if, purely by being a white woman, I am racist. It wasn't even until high school that I first started to suspect that there might be a difference.
I was walking across the parking lot one morning, when I stepped in front of my friend's car. My black/African American (hell, I never know what it is I am supposed to say. I don't like labels.) friend. She honked. I flicked her off. She yelled, "Bitch," out her car window. We both giggled. But to the onlooking group of twenty or so black girls, the situation looked anything but funny. I was surrounded quickly. The fight only broken up by Cory's pleas for them to leave me alone since we were friends. Although, really after that, how could we be friends? It became them versus us. It was the first time I realized there was a them and an us. At least according to them. And yet? I still tried to not let that affect the way I treat people.
Emmi crouched next to me in Target today looking at the toothbrushes, while I was debating which toothpaste to buy. My cart sat to one side, directly behind me so as not to block the isle. Really, it is hard decision, mint or wintergreen. I was kind of in my own world, which is probably why I didn't notice the woman approach from behind. That is until she forcibly bumped my cart with hers, knocking it first into me, then into Emmi. I turned, shocked, as Emmi started crying.
"Excuse you," She said.
I laughed a bit. Excuse me? She just rammed her cart into my cart knocking it into my child. And somehow this is my fault?
"You be in my way."
I looked at her evenly. "Well, then. The appropriate action would have been to ask me to please move. Not to knock your cart into mine, consequently hitting my child. You owe my child an apology."
She shook her head. "Oh hell no. Just cause you a white girl, don't be thinking I owe you nothing. You white girls always be thinking black women be owing you somethin'."
And then, I snapped. I have had enough of being accused of being racist. This scene has played out over and over in grocery stores and parking lots and malls. And I am just fucking tired of it.
"No, actually, I don't think you owe me anything. You owe my child an apology. And you are the only one that brought race into this. I don't give a good god damn if you are white, black, orange, or green, if you ram your fucking cart into my kid I am going to be all over your ass. Quite using the color of your skin as an excuse for your disgraceful behavior, because you are giving women everywhere a bad image." And with that, I turned and walked away.
And I am pretty sure, I am going to end up shot later today. I'm just sayin'. But maybe that's just me being racist.