1.126 – E-Race Me

With 5 minutes until closing time, a customer walks up to me and says:

“Hi, I know you must be wanting to get out of here, so I’ll be quick. I was just curious…um…what are you?”

What do you mean?

“Are you black?”

No

“Oh. What are you?”

I’m Puerto Rican.

*laughs* “Oh, cuz I was gonna ask you how I could get hair like yours but I’m not Puerto Rican. I’m Black.”

That’s nice.

“And um..is the Nook Tablet like the IPad..but like…cheaper?”

“Yeah, pretty much.”

“Okay thanks.”

Exit ensues.

Here are a few tidbits that will enlighten you as to why this interaction annoys the ever-living-piss out of me. This customer sat in the cafe area for a good hour, doing nothing. This customer was bald. This customer was a male. How the hell are you inquiring about my hair, boo? How did you assume you could get hair like mine? Maybe you dress up, so you assume I bought it?

I’m a Puerto Rican female. I’m just a female. I don’t ask people what they are, racially…to be quite honest – I don’t ask because I don’t give a shit. I don’t search for a specific race to date because I have some fetish. I don’t hang out with a specific race because I feel “accepted.” I interact with people. Not their race.

Not everything darker than white is black. Not everything that is spanish is mexican. For 11 years, I’ve answered this question a million times. It comes with the territory…or so I assume. It’s even funnier to me when people act shocked…or as if I’m lying. If I was black – I would be proud to be black. If I was mexican – I would be proud to be mexican. But I am none of those things. I am proud to be a woman who does not fixate on race. I am proud to live outside of stereotypes and labels. I am proud of the beauty of my internal being versus the shell you stare at.

On a side note – I’m actually excited about a children’s series concept that I discussed with an artist friend tonight. Don’t know where the idea will go…but I’m grateful I’m still having ideas. Means I’m still alive.

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3 comments on “1.126 – E-Race Me

  1. Last thing I would think of saying when asked what I am is my race, there are so many things that define us, but certainly race is not one of them.

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