Jane H. Hill, The Everyday Language of White Racism
This is like when me and my white soon-to-be husband were looking for places. I’d call up and they’d say, “Come on down! Get an application!”. Because I don’t “sound” black.
Then I’d walk in 2 minutes later and they’d be all, “Oh. Sorry, we just rented it.”
Then I’d send him in and he’d get an application.
The best part? Walking back in while he was completing the application. “Oh, they gave you an application? But they told me it was just rented. ODD. THAT. I’m going to report them so let’s just skip this place, m’kay?” The looks on their faces and the pathetic apologies were just too much fun.
Used to deal with the same thing with road trips. Hotels would tell me that there were no vacancies, but my white roommate would go in and get us a room, usually cheaper than advertised.
But we’re just supposed to *trust* and think everything is an *isolated* incident.
My parents pointed out how this phenomenon worked when we were moving to PA (they’d get steered to crummier neighborhoods and have to insist on being shown others). Housing discrimination is still pretty widespread and the gatekeepers? Tend to either intentionally or due to unchecked bias reinforce the status quo.
It always floors me the things people are surprised at. Meanwhile, every person of color is sitting here like, “Oh. Must be another day that ends in Y, and in other news, water is wet.” Like, really, people are surprised by this, and whenever they show surprise at learning stuff that we go through, I have to poker face, lest I end up giving them the most disbelieving side eye in history because how do you NOT know this? But then, you know. Some people have the privilege of being able to be unaware it because it’s not a problem they have to deal with. :/
My mom and dad tried to move into a house in a mostly white area and the realtor told them they should move somewhere where they would be “more comfortable around their peers”. My mom reported them, the NAACP gave her a free lawyer, and they got the place for some crazy low price. Housing discrimination is real as fuck.
Readabookson has a copy >here<
In the 10th Grade, I was followed home from the train station near my house and held up at gun point. It was the scariest experience I’ve ever been through in my life, bar none. I was scared for my life and sense told me to let it go, but believe me, if I could have broken that guys nose and bashed his head into the concrete, I would have in a heartbeat. I’ve been followed and had guns pulled on me on two other occasions that even my parents don’t know about because I was too scared to talk about it. Being followed by a stranger is absolutely terrifying. I and most of my friends are teenage black males just like Trayvon Martin and to think that if I or any of them were to die in attempt to protect ourselves, whether preemptively or not, and the law was on the side of the killer is almost as frightening as the killer himself. Not only are young Black males profiled, judged, and neglected by society. We are expected to die in silence.
Some of my white friends might not understand, but it’s reality.
What many don’t understand (particularly many White people) is that these events are not important to us because of the person or the event. They are important because they are a painful reminder of the hundreds of years injustices Black people have faced and the injustices that Black people continue to face every day. Friends ask me why I am so vocal about this. Because it literally pains me to think about and to remain silent. These kind of daily injustices bring grown Black men and women to tears and shred the confidence of millions of Black children to nothing and it pains me to watch that go on in silence and to constantly feel like the lives and the voice of my people do not matter as much. So no, Trayvon Martin alone is not that important. But, to me, race is.