Repost from Black Entertainment USA
Full comments can be seen at www.blackentertainmentblog.com :
I’m not sure how many read the piece by Mr. Bruce Kluger, but I hope many did. The opinion found on USAToday.com today was a well-balanced view of America. Very well-balanced from the view of a White American. I say that with no disrespect intended, rather with the emphasis that while there have been many improvements in the nation when it comes to race, they are just superficial. I do not fault Mr. Kluger or his opinion, I think it is accurate to a degree. I just feel it needs to be expanded on from a different view point.
When I was in elementary school, some 30 years ago, I recall that I was definitively told that I could not speak to Rosemarie because she was white, by her older brother. I recall how this public scolding made me feel, especially as every parent and older kid there said and did nothing to stop him. Not even a cross look. That was in the later 1970’s.
Let’s fast forward to 2006. I have spoken several times on experiences I’ve had and quite a few I haven’t. I recall in late October – November how I was confronted by a man for speaking to his girlfriend’s friend. Both women were white. The one I was speaking with was a friend, and I knew both women previous to this encounter. I was given a clear understanding of what the man’s problem was. I was, in his eyes, a Black American. [I in fact am a Black Puerto Rican and proud of it]
Another situation in 2006, I detailed in a previous post. You can read it at What is a Black African Hispanic American supposed to think?. Given 3 decades there has been no change in some opinions. It’s not nearly as uncommon as some believe, especially as you travel farther from major cities into the ‘heartland’ of the nation.
But there is little change in business as well. If I had $5 for every time a client of mine did a double take upon meeting me I’d be far wealthier. As a stockbroker I have won bets and stunned colleagues by the reactions clients had upon meeting their broker for the first time, in some cases after having been their broker for 5 years. Luckily I was either an exceptional broker [which I was and many former clients to this day will still attest to] or highly charismatic - or perhaps a combination of both – because I never lost a client due to my color I am aware of. I did have some clients stop sending new funds and taking fewer of my calls, counter to their prior trend, though.
I cannot count how many times I have been told that I am ‘articulate’ or ‘speak really well’. That is virtually never a compliment, it is a comment that is used almost exclusively for non-whites. It is meant to convey a back-handed compliment. It implies that, excluding the individual getting the compliment, all others of that group are incapable or generally without the ability to speak or comprehend English. That rational though, as conveyed by language, is beyond this group. For those that question the thought I suggest you think back to the last time you heard or spoke such a comment. Visualize who the comment was made to. Then recount the last time you have ever heard the comment given to someone that is white. Then speak to a white person you have never met, and give them this ‘compliment’, I am sure the perplexed look they give you back will make my point.
Continued in part 2 ...