While I lived in the US I learned about something called ‘white guilt’. Basically, it means white people feel guilty about being white and not knowing what it’s like to not get things because of your skin colour. I’ve never felt guilty simply because I don’t think colour matters at all. But it seems it does.
I am as white as you can be. I am so pale you can see my veins. I turn blue sometimes. I need to apply blush in order to avoid the ‘are you ill?’ pep-talk from strangers. Regardless of how badly I would like to wear certain colours, I have never given much thought about it.
Whenever I have lived or travelled abroad I have been able to become part of the scenery. People don’t look at me differently, they presume I am like them. They even talk in english to me. In the year 2010 I was flying from NJ to FL and as I was waiting in line, some random woman starting talking to me about how long we had to wait in line due to all of the tourists and immigrants, how annoying it was for us to wait for security to check their passports. Meanwhile, I was trying not to lose my passport.
The same happened to me while on a cruise to the Caribbean. I randomly walked into a Starbucks in Nassau and sat down while I tried to figure out where to go. A white couple sat next to me and started talking to me about how far from the US we were. At least when I told them where I was from, they knew where my country was. In NYC a salesclerk thought I was a bostonian girl and immediately wanted to know about my ancestry. I don’t even know how a bostonian girl looks like.
I am a walking contradiction to them. I am latin/south american, yet wherever I go I get grouped with them. Maybe that’s why I don’t understand racism. I can walk the streets in Barcelona without worry while a friend of mine is stopped more than once by the Police because they want to see his Passport.
How fucked up are we?