All the more reason why we "woke" white people need to be very conscious and conscientious about our privilege and to go out of our way to ensure that when we give the proper deference to black people and people of color that we would give to a white person.

These micro moments may seem like a small thing for us (i.e., white people), but added up over the course of a day, they become huge.

For example, when I reach a closed door at the same or even somewhat before a black person I will go out of my way to open the door and wait for them to go thru. In the past that has been "normal good manners" for a white male to do with a white woman, but that (apparently) does not cross racial lines. As I understand it, it's as if black people (male or female) are invisible to white people. Note: for that matter, if I arrive at a door first before ANYONE -- male, female, black or white -- I will hold the door open for them. Basic good manners regardless of race or gender.

I became aware of how important this can be decades ago when I lived in Des Moines Iowa, and without even thinking about it, I held the door to a fabric store open for an elderly black woman, and she blushed (yes, blushed) and smiled with pleasure as it was so unexpected for her. She deserved that courtesy from a young person regardless of race, but it was clear from her reaction that she was totally unaccustomed to it.

Later I wrote about it in a social media post, and I got all sorts of arguments from white people insisting that my interpretation of the elderly black woman's reaction could actually be interpreted a hundred different ways other than being about race.

That was a second revelation to me about how white people will refuse to recognize the obvious when it comes to race. They will turn a situation upside down, inside out, and backwards in order to claim that it wasn't about race at all, or it was very insignificant. Denial ain't just a river in Egypt!

Then I was accused of being racist against white people, of course...

UGH! The machinations white people will go through in order to dispute very obvious racist acts are mind boggling and, frankly, disgusting.

You have my deep sympathies for having to endure these racist micro-moments every day that you live.

(Also, for anyone who hasn't already seen this: https://a-room-of-my-own.medium.com/playing-the-denial-card-yes-all-whites-d9b0c333f169)

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Retired professor, feminist, writer, photographer, activist, grandmother of 5, overall Wise Woman. Phd UIA School of Journalism & Mass Communication, 1994.

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Georgia NeSmith

Georgia NeSmith

Retired professor, feminist, writer, photographer, activist, grandmother of 5, overall Wise Woman. Phd UIA School of Journalism & Mass Communication, 1994.

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