12 People Share the Stark Reality of Living as a Person of Color

Image credit: Whisper

I don’t know why the world is the way it is.

That’s not true. I kind of do.

It’s because dismantling systems of power and oppression is hard. It takes a lot of work and dedication, and most people are too wrung out from the daily grind to care about anything else.

Lucky for all of us, there are people working hard every day to make sure that someday people of color will no longer be treated like criminals because of their race.

It can’t come soon enough, as these 12 people make so painfully clear.

1. Insensitive comments abound

It’s so deeply ingrained that people don’t even realize they’re being rude sometimes.

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

Image credit: Whisper

2. Sometimes they do know it’s rude

They just don’t care. As though their comfort is more important than yours.

I'm a British born Pakistani and had arrived in the USA at the aiport. A white guy who was with his family called over security and told him to search me because i was 'brown and probably one of those bin ladens' 😔

Image credit: Whisper

3. You are constantly the victim of assumptions

It sounds like an exhausting way to live.

I'm Native American and I got pulled over leaving the rez to go into town. The cop searched my truck for drugs when they pulled me over for a leaky exhaust. I've always been clean.

Image credit: Whisper

4. Authority figures don’t give you the benefit of the doubt

Expectations mean they hear what they expect to hear, see what they expect to see.

I'm Mexican and my one and only time I was ever pulled over I started to stutter and the cop demanded that I speak in English. 😂

Image credit: Whisper

5. You’re impacted by arbitrary rules

And you know they were put in place as veiled attempts to legitimize discrimination against you.

When a store won't let people with backpacks in but let's other types of bags in (diaper bags, beach bags, totes, large purses and strollers). Reason? 'Security'. 😡

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6. People are afraid of you without provocation

And they’re not very good at hiding it.

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

7. People take liberties with your body

As though they have the right.

I'm black and I have long natural hair and in high school this girl was inspecting my head to see if my hair was real and she said, 'sorry, since you're black, I thought it was weave.'

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8. You get accused of kidnapping

Which is even more ridiculous when you look at actual kidnapping statistics around non-custodial family members.

I'm a nanny and whenever I go out in public with the toddler I look after, sometimes I get followed around or accused of kidnapping because she's white and I'm black.

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9. It’s not unusual to experience trauma at a young age

It’s heartbreaking, but it’s not unusual.

My Hispanic dad was once randomly forced to get on the ground and was searched by police at 7-11 because they they thought he was a suspect of a car jacking.

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10. Children are the worst, except when they’re not

The worst part is when they grow up into cruel adults.

I'm half Lebanese and a kid at school called me a 'Muslim terrorist.' I'm a Christian.

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11. Sometimes, it’s like you’re invisible

But not the times when you wish that you were.

When me and my boyfriend walk into restaurants together they always begin to serve him first and tell me they'll be right with me. Is it that hard to believe we're together? Female, black.

Image credit: Whisper

12. It’s not a uniquely American experience

That’s… not exactly both good and bad. More like both real and sad.

Was doing the tourist thing with my boyfriend in London and he got stopped and searched. They were literally stopping every young black male coming out of the train station.

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It’s so important to see what life is like for someone different from yourself.

I’m glad these people shared their experiences, and that I could share them with you.

Have you had similar experiences? Share your story in the comments.