I will document basic sexism and racism when I see it from now on.
Back in December, a white woman sat at my kitchen table, smoked weed with me, ate my homemade soup with me, and told me that she had been a blatant racist and was trying to do better now. She thought it was safe because I thought it was safe to do that. That was back when I still wanted friends more than I craved purity of mind and body. I will never entertain that type of conversation around my kitchen table where my children and I eat ever again. That was douchy of me. That was wrong of me. That was racist accomplice of me. I was an accomplice to white supremacy because I saw it in my world, and people told me about it in my world, and I did little to challenge them. I made sure no racism was allowed in my family life and in my home. And I wrote anti-racist words on the internet and in my academic writing. But I allowed it at my kitchen table! That's bullshit. That's still racism.
Back in December, I still hadn't figured out how to challenge racism publicly because fear. Fear of losing a friend. Fear of offending someone. My friends weren't blatant racists in front of me. I'm talking about smaller, but equally wrong forms of racism. Another friend in an open marriage with a white man told me she wanted to date "exotic" men, meaning Brown men from countries outside the US. She found one, and he's not very nice to her, so I laugh at her now. We're not friends anymore. I didn't challenge her when I fucking should have because of fear. I'm a white woman, we grow up entrenched in those fears. Sometimes we don't even realize how much. That's what makes me a racist, and an accomplice to racism. I still haven't done enough to challenge that shit. What I do is live my values. But now it's time to demonstrate my values to my immediate surroundings no matter whose little baby feelings I offend.
Back in December, I walked into a coffee shop. And it's a very white shop. Hell, the wallz and ceiling are white! It's a white shop because all the employees and business owners are white men, and a vast majority of the customers who spend time in the shop are white men. It's very bland and boring, but I like the smellz from the roaster and I love the espresso. Because they break rules at this shop. They know all the coffee world rulez and they are good at what they do so they can totally fucking break all the rulez. I like that. And when I find a space with all that, that also enables me to get creative and smart with words and research, I like that, too. I started turning my dissertation into a book at this white shop.
Sometimes they tell you the coffee "tasting notes" at this shop, but they also let you taste whatever the fuck you like in your cup. Some of my favorite "tasting notes" (yes, it's a dumb combination of words) have been beef broth and cotton candy down at this shop.
It's an ethical shop, too, because they know their coffee farmers well, and as far as I can tell, they treat their coffee farmers well, too. That's not common. I value that.
But it's a white shop, so you can walk into this shop and hear two white boys say things like "stay woke!" I don't say "woke" because I know I'll look and sound like a fucking white goob who is just trying to take ownership of language, just like I would look like a fucking white goob if I said "what up doe." So what if some Black people say "stay woke" to you, whitey, and so what if some Black people say "what up doe" to me, whitey. Ben Carson is Black and "on fleek" is another phrase spoken by people of color. You wanna argue this any further?
You can walk into the shop and hear two white boys talking about how they don't use facebook or instagram anymore (cauz they're super kewl), but they love the reddit. Wait, that shit's still around?? They love the reddit because they can read all about Gucci Mane and his personal life and talk about it with no other person of color around. White boys talk about Gucci Mane like they know this random famous rapper. That's the day I started using ear phones there, because sometimes they actually do play great music, but lately, that bougie, entitled I can talk about whatever Black culture item I want with this other white boy shit makes me tired.
You can also walk into the shop as a woman and be mansplained all to hell about whatever the fuck they want. This also makes me tired. It's a shop full of white men who spend their lives congratulating one another on their basic mediocrity when they wouldn't stand a chance surrounded by a more diverse crowd.
This one time, a white man here tried to tell me that I shouldn't support scientists trying to genetically weed out particular types of mosquitoes that carry diseases that threaten the lives of pregnant women because then what will the bats eat. Other mosquitoes, genius.
I love espresso. I hate coffee. It's got too much water. Coffee people will tell you that is dumb. You're supposed to like coffee if you're a real coffee fan. YOU drink the coffee, MAN. I don't fucking want it. A friend introduced me to the joys of espresso about eight years ago. I transcribed my doctoral ethnographic interviews in a different, nearby coffee shop while consuming espresso. I wrote parts of my dissertation in this nearby shop while consuming espresso. I get that you're supposed to like coffee. I get that you're supposed to stir your espresso. I get that you're supposed to consume your espresso immediately or the little coffee divas, they're everywhere, get their feelings hurt.
I'm old enough to no longer give a fuck. Today, this little baby barista actually ruined a cup of espresso that he made for me by putting a spoon in it, stirring it around, rinsing that shit with hot water, AND THEN PUT THE FUCKING WET SPOON BACK ON MY SAUCER all before handing it to me. That's terrible customer service and it borderline violates food safety standards because you did that shit behind the counter and then served me a used spoon and a dirty saucer. Hold up, there was an animal cracker on that fucking saucer. I'm pretty sure that definitely violates food safety standards.
I ran a produce dept down at the whole foods - we did food prep and I am serv safe certified. Motherfuckers need you to prove yourself to them over and over and over again. Is that good enough? I'm done proving myself and yet here I am still doing it. Men beg women to do it over and over and then continue to tell us we're not good enough because we don't agree with them. Maybe you're wrong, man. Maybe if your ideas don't match up with mine, you're the one who's got something to prove. And you're wrong.
Ask yourselves why you assume women are dumb until we prove otherwise. Why don't you assume we're smart until proven otherwise? I walk a lot. About a year ago, I started crossing the street to the other side when I saw a white man walking toward me. Just because. I still do that. I don't do that when Black or Brown men are walking toward me.
And I prefer to have a white man serve me in a coffee shop while I sit back and relax.
Men, especially white men, but men, are raised to think, to know without question, that they are right. Their fathers acted this way and their mother's confirmed these beliefs and practices, often without even knowing or intending to. Hell, I've certainly done this as a mother. I've had to slam on the breaks this past year and turn this motherfucker around because I realized that I was raising sexist boys.
Like the title states, I will document basic sexism and racism when I see it from now on. They don't want us to. They're scared it'll hurt their feelings. Well, if you don't want me to, shape the fuck up, assholes. Shape the fuck up.
I'm cleaning house in my personal life like a motherfucker. My dad used to say, "with friends like these, who needs enemies." I've discovered that those words applied very well to my life as of last year. But this year, this year, I will only allow righteous ass motherfuckers to get anywhere near me and my heart because purity of mind and body is what I value most. And that is what makes me the best mother and woman that I can be.
Este obra está bajo una licencia de Creative Commons Reconocimiento-NoComercial-SinObraDerivada 4.0 Internacional.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.