What are you?
Are you black?
What tribe are you from?
I am a white girl.
NO, you’re not, you really need to research that!
The movie Dear White People was a very well made movie that made me laugh out loud, exclaim “yep!” at scenes I’ve seen play out my whole life. I saw issues of struggle I observe in my children. I laughed out loud, it was comedy.
As the movie credits rolled and a debrief conversation was about to begin, I ran. I left quickly, unconsciously. Why was I running? Why did I need the comfort of my car? Why did I need to be all alone. I ran to my car and fumbled with the keys anxious to enter! I managed to close and lock my door before it happened. And oh it happened. I burst into sobbing tears. I cried so hard I gasped for air. I wept uncontrollably. Without warning, without thought, completely from a deep place, I wept.
I ran to release the pinned up frustration of injustice and inequality. I ran to release the pinned up anger of stupidity and selfishness. I ran to release the pinned up despair of blind disregard for anything different. I ran to release the pinned up sadness of my own experience and those of my children. I ran from the pervasive question, “what are you?” I wept.
What am I? I am a white girl desperate for people to get it. I am a white girl that loves and respects and honors all human beings. I am a white girl that wishes she had superpowers that with a wave of a hand could create a world of equity, justice, and compassion.
I wept at the question- what are you?- and the fact that my answer is so shocking.