I recently watched some Upworthy video of a diversity class in which the facilitator (not teacher, facilitator) reprimanded a presumably White girl for being racist, for not understanding that people of color don’t get to “leave the room” when they are tired of being prejudiced against. While I could easily rally with the facilitator and do my own snaps, at the same time, I wonder if I could be doing the same, especially when I am in my own comfort zone.
A few weeks ago, I called someone out for being White (presumably). I was trying to make a remark and I said, “No offense,” to the only other White person at the table and said my piece. As soon as it came out of my mouth, I knew it was wrong. I knew that I had done what I wouldn’t have wanted someone else to do to me and I later apologized to her for my stupid comments.
A few days ago, I attended a wedding of a friend/acquaintance. I was more of a +1 (for once!), but that’s beside the point. At almost every instance in my own recollection of the very beautiful, very loving and also very amazing wedding, I wouldn’t hesitate to point out the fact that my partner and I were “ethnic outsiders,” that the wedding was not my own style and how it was a reflection of the couple’s (ethnic) culture. While these misguided comments took me longer to realize, I have now come to understand that my thoughts were no worse than the ones I call perpetrators. If I were to host my own celebration of love someday (FAR FAR AWAY), I wouldn’t want someone to make comments about how “Vietnamese” it is, or to show that they felt out of place, because at the end of the day, it is a celebration, no matter the custom, no matter the traditions, no matter the “style” in which the couple whose families are joining decide to do it in.
I realize now it was wrong of me. It’s not okay for me to make my own prejudices, my own judgments on things unlike that of my own. It’s so interesting – here I am trying to fight the fight, but I forget to realize there’s still a fight in me I must battle. I am not immune to being racist. I am not immune to having prejudiced thoughts. I am not immune to behaviors that indicate that I am both. But I can change the way I respond to others outside of my own comfort zone.