I Can’t Help Looking Like A White Man

I walk through my day bearded and frumpy looking. I’m that white dude down the street that looks like he stopped trying about 3 years ago, but still has just enough of his shit together to go through the motions. People are on the whole friendly with me. I don’t usually have to make space for myself unless I’m in a space of predominantly white dudes. It is easy for me to move through the world. I’m just below average height: unthreatening to most people, but not quite small enough to be an easy target. I’m just going to smoke my cigarette and quietly long for the embrace of death, it’s an arrangement I’m comfortable with. But here’s the thing, no one ever treats me like I’m frumpy. No one ever looks at a white man and thinks “oh no, he’s really let himself go” unless it’s like an actual loved one and you’re truly concerned for their well being. But oh boy this same sweatpants, unshowered look on a black guy, he’s probably going to be treated much differently: the convenience store clerk suddenly keeps her hand on the alarm when he walks in, neighbors stop him on the street to ask him if he lost. Not me though, I walk around unscathed. But I can’t help that. I can’t force other people to treat me worse because they would treat a black person worse. And that sounds counterproductive to the long term greater good anyway. But I can say I see it. I am capable of understanding how being unimpeded in my day is in fact a privilege. It wasn’t that long ago that privilege was not afforded to me.

I mostly write for me and on the off chance that someone can gain something from my thoughts I publish them here.

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