Some of us predominately white people have encountered racism but feel ashamed to admit that we have. I was born in a small city named Petersburg in Virginia that has been largely black for quite some time. I then got older and began hanging out and then attended college (briefly) in Richmond, Va. RVA, as how we abbreviated it and would become it’s acronym, was also largely black populated as well. Where am I going with this? My point is, I’m not unfamiliar with living among a different race than myself. I moved down to Raleigh, NC and actually experienced more racism from the blacks that I’ve interacted with here. Maybe, it’s because there’s a lot of transplants from across the U.S. that took up here, I don’t know. But, if it ain’t the damned truth and Raleigh isn’t even predominately black, nor is it nearly as hard of a city as places I’ve been and known before.
On the exterior, I appear as though I’m white, but I’m over 30% direct ancestry Native American from both my mother and father’s side. I identified more with my Native heritage even before I found out my heritage ( because I was adopted and then reunited with my biological mother at the age of 10.) I felt different than my other friends that were white despite that I’m also of Hungarian and English decent to make up the 70% rest of “me.” Labels do irk to me to an extent. It’s not like you have any say into what your ancestry is. So, to me, to say “I’m proud” to be of whatever race just because of your ancestry is ignorant.
It’s like saying, I’m really proud that I got blue eyes. How can you be proud of something you had no involvement in? I DO understand if you’re proud of your ancestry due to the strife and struggles that your people endured to still be relevant and on this earth. Back to encountering racism as a “white” person. Maybe we don’t talk about it because of the white guilt we should feel or own because of things that happened so long ago that some of our ancestors had nothing to do with?
One specific racist encounter I had experienced was at the Department of Human Services in Raleigh NC. Years ago when I was going through the process of applying for disability, ( I had been turned down several times as that’s how the system works) I needed some help with obtaining food and attempted to file for food stamps ( EBT debit card ) hopeful, that the disability would go through within that time period.
Going through this process is demeaning enough. I was treated the whole time I was there, as though I needed no help. You know, I’m white, the world’s just handed everything out to me as it was already. I was childless and still am. Everyone in attendance had to listen to a short black woman with a Napoleon complex and a tampon shoved up her insides sideways as she dryly reads through the brochure and the audience is to read along with her.
I was bored with the whole thing and begun flipping to the end of the damned brochure as I could read much faster than her and I get bored very easy. Finally, after she calls me out in front of everyone and everyone looks back at me, and I look up back at them like, WTF? She chastises me for going ahead in the fucking book. After the brochure fiasco, the people that were representatives of the administering of the benefits, began doing personal interviews with each person/family/ platoon/etc.
I’m sitting there acting like I’m only minding my own business, but I overhear part of some other people’s spiels as to why they don’t have a job and need help. One woman says she quit her job because she couldn’t take her boss “picking” on her when her boss lady was on her cycle. So, I’m thinking, “Damn! Your boss has her monthly for 28 days? How is that a fucking relevant reason as you’ve got kids to feed as well?!” So, it comes my turn. ALL the representatives are black women and most the applicants were either black or Latino. I’m one of the few white or whitish looking people in the vicinity.
The representative starts asking me questions and I’m immediately distracted as I notice the woman that couldn’t work with her bitchy boss, and the representative that was assigned to her ( the napoleon bitch from earlier ) leaning over whispering to the woman that was asking for help. Of course I’m immediately motherfucking pissed like a fire ant as the representative that I was dealing with was asking about my current employment situation. I told her I was NOT working at the moment and didn’t offer any explanation.
The representative then asks me why I’m not working, and I almost scream in her face that I’m disabled and currently going through the process of waiting to hear back if my disability is granted, that’s why! I’m then told that if I want any kind of assistance in the way of food stamps, that I would have to sign up to work in the work first program and found out that I most likely wouldn’t even get $50 in food stamps for an entire week anyhow. I asked how was I supposed to work in that program when part of my disability involves PTSD, anxiety attacks and not to mention I cannot work because of my multiple disabilities.
I don’t like handouts and I don’t like feeling like I must rely on the government for help. The truth is, I was turned down several times when I applied for disability. And, that was with a doctor’s approval. Finally, I sent in every single shred of documentation that went as far back as when the military doctors started noting marked depression as early as age 14. I bombarded the disability investigators’ inbox with my collected records.
I’ve actually heard the argument out of a black person’s mouth, that they can’t be racist, because, they’re black. WTF?! Can’t even say, “like seriously?” to that because it’s just got no rationale behind it. And, I will never forget that time at the food stamp department not because it was the first time I’ve encountered racism by a black person, but because it was blatantly systemic. There were other reps doing the same thing to other people they were helping that were of their same race.
I could’ve complained. I could’ve gone about finding the manager of all of them, but what then? I was so angry and seeing red at the moment, that to have someone that was just like those bitches try to invalidate me, would’ve definitely caused me a paid ride straight to county as I would’ve caused a lot of damage in a short time frame. It’s not like I know what it’s like to deal with racism on a almost daily level. So, to be honest, it wasn’t even about the blatant favoritism the representatives were showing.
It was the fact that I’d worked for almost my whole life. I even had to have enough work credits to be awarded disability. It was how the representatives used their power and control over people in general to determine who would get help and who wouldn’t. I hope they pray to their “god (s)” when they’re laying up in an old folks home, that the person that is in charge of changing their diapers and taking care of them, doesn’t leave them to sit rotting around in their own vile creations and beat them just because they can.
Karma can be the demise of all the mightiest bitches. Don’t ever be afraid to call it what it is.