10 People Explain How Their Race Has Influenced People’s Perceptions of Them

Image credit: Whisper

As humans, we are constantly making assumptions about the world around us and the people and things in it.

Maybe we shouldn’t, but I think it’s part of how humans are wired.

We categorize things in our head to help us make sense of them.

The problem is, a lot of our assumptions are based on fear, lack of knowledge, and misinformation.

It can be hard to overcome, and it leads to snap judgments about people who are different from us, especially when those people are minorities and people of color.

Here are 10 examples of assumptions that people of color face every day.

1. They assume you’re violent or have a broken family

Because you can’t just get a divorce for irreconcilable differences like everyone else.

Everyone assumed my ex husband beat me because he was Arab.

Image credit: Whisper

2. They assume that you’re somewhere you don’t belong

Because you’re not allowed to go nice places or have nice things.

When I used to deliver newspapers I had a store in a nice area and I was getting some extra paperwork together before I went in, and the police assumed I was casing the store to rob it even with papers tacked to the roof.

Image credit: Whisper

3. They assume that you’re up to something

And your word isn’t good enough. Someone else has to vouch for you.

I'm a Latina. Cops pulled me over, searched my truck, asking where I was taking a load of pro-audio equipment. I was on my way to a gig at the Country Club. They released me when it was confirmed.

Image credit: Whisper

4. They assume weird stereotypes

As though they’ve never met another person who wasn’t white out in the big wide world.

I'm south east Asian. My white friend's mom thought we eat pizza with chopsticks.

Image credit: Whisper

5. They assume you’ve done something wrong

Because they know they can get away with it.

A cop looked me dead in the eyes from two lanes away, got out of his turn lane, got behind me, and stopped me because my license plate light was out. It would have been ok if it wasn't for the impossibility of him seeing it in the beginning.

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6. They assume there might be something to find

And if there’s not, they make something up.

My black boyfriend was pulled over in my driveway. We live in a Philly suburb. If he was pulled over for what the cop said he pulled him over for, he would have been pulled over 5 blocks before my street...

Image credit: Whisper

7. They assume you’re going to steal something

You can’t just be there to shop.

Getting followed around a store low key because I'm black.

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8. They assume you have bad intentions

Because kids never cry with their family.

I'm Mexican, my sister is 11 years younger than me and is light skinned and blond. I was walking out of Target with her and she was crying because I didn't get her a toy. The security officer stopped me and told me I am not going anywhere with her.

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9. They assume things without even seeing you

There’s probably no more obvious case of racial profiling than this one.

I'm in San Diego, bought a Jeep that had a bunch of Mexican flag stickers and club stickers. Cops would follow me 'til they saw it was a white girl driving. Removed the stickers, no issues since.

Image credit: Whisper

10. They assume you’re going to hurt them

because they just see what you look like and not who you are.

I'm mixed with black and Indian. Coming from work a lady saw my dreads and tattoos and ran to her car and locked her door in a panic trying not to look directly in my eyes. I laughed cause I live in the same luxury apartments she does.

Image credit: Whisper

You know what they say about when you assume?

These were all a nice reminder to check our assumptions at the door.

Have you had assumptions made about you that weren’t true? Tell us in the comments.