Subtle Racism: Thoughts Please!


by Dawn Boykin

Many of experience subtle racism on a daily basis, knowingly and some of us unaware. For me, I am becoming more centered on the motivation of individuals who can’t stand the thought of diversity in the modern world. Most curious about those individuals who cringe on the mere thought of the possibility of a mixed child. Really? A child that doesn’t have a say in the matter but who is ridiculed and looked down upon before even having the chance to take their first breath of air. Or what about those individuals who would jump over a bridge and commit suicide than to accept that they have physically touched you skin to skin? So, what do they do? They casually adopt the ritual of putting the change on the counter. Even after you have made a purchase and have supported their establishment, you are not spoken to during any part of the transaction. Further, your business is not appreciated or respected and simply put, they could care less if you ever return.  While the person in front of the line was acknowledged, smiled at and made to feel comfortable, appreciated and valued while shopping. On the other hand, you were ignored or perhaps STALKED during your visit (for fear that you may steal an item you would clearly be willing to pay for if you even had an interest in buying). However, the person behind you has a bag full of stolen goods, the owner unsuspecting, exuding confident and sure that this person is deserving of acknowledgement, gratitude and honor. Their change is not to be placed on the counter, but in their hand. While eye contact is a must, a gracious smile of content, a nod yielding farewell my dear friend is natural and most desirable.  Me wanting to yell, THAT PERSON HAS A BAG OF STOLLEN GOODS, YOU FOOL! because I had caught the thief red handed. You are watching the wrong people Mister, replays like a scratched DVD in my head, but I don’t say what I am thinking. Is it just me, or have any of you witnessed or  been a victim of subtle racism?

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