Saturday, July 25, 2009

allow the label "white" to obscure their actual color

If you're a "white" person, what color are you really?

When I hold up my hand, or look into a mirror, I have to think beyond my fictional "whiteness" to see what color I really am.

My skin is not the color -- or lack of color -- of a piece of paper. I am not, literally, "white."

When I try to discern and label accurately the color of my skin, I come up with "pink, but then, kind of beige, too."

I'm a little darker in some places, a little lighter in others, but nowhere am I really "white."

I remember being in a used bookstore once and flipping through a book by Clarence Major called Black Slang: A Dictionary of Afro-American Talk. I was struck by the definition for the word "pink."

Now I can find this dictionary again on Google Books and easily look up that entry. So here it is:

Pink: (1900-40s) white person.

Major also included this, as the next definition:

Pink chasers: (1900-40s) black people who deliberately cultivate friendships with white people.

For several centuries now, "black" people have been pressed into daily contact with "white" people. As I've gradually come to understand, this proximity has afforded black people all sorts of secret knowledge about their supposed betters. That's obviously true of other groups excluded from whiteness as well, and I sometimes wonder whether different groups have gathered and shared among themselves differing examples of such subordinated knowledge.

Surely this usage of "pink" was something that black people carefully avoided uttering aloud whenever a white person might hear it. So what did its covert usage signal, or imply?

Maybe to call a white person a "pink" meant, in a deceptively simple way, "They may call themselves 'white,' but that's not what they are."

I like to think -- without actually knowing whether it's true -- that this common black term for white Americans signaled an oppressed people's collectively private recognition. This would have been the recognition of a singular, unwarranted, and really rather ridiculous arrogance among their self-appointed betters.

If the term "pink" was used to point out that those so-called white people are not actually "white," but closer instead to "pink," then racial whiteness itself was exposed as a fiction. And then, so were the presumptions of a people who had arrogated to themselves -- and thereby implied the opposite about others -- the pure, clean, unblemished, and uninfected connotations of the word "white." A word that falsely denotes a lack of something that the skin of so-called white people actually does not lack: color.

In other words, maybe black people called white people "pinks" because they knew that white people are delusional. I know that I am, because when I look in my bathroom mirror, I don't see my actual color as any particular, actual color. As I said above, I have to think about it, and then I'll think, and see, colors like "pink," or "beige," or during the summer, "tan."

And then when I step out into the world, if someone were to ask me what "color" or "race" I am, as various authority figures and official forms have asked me before, a false reality to which I normally subscribe would reassert itself.

I would say, in the usual, deluded manner of my tribe, "I'm white."


  1. Maybe you should be talking to a therapist about these views...

    Sounds to me you hate your skin "color" and see yourself as having no character or any redeemable qualities because of your skin color. Seriously, someone's really done a good job on you concerning your self-loathing.

  2. Thanks for the advice, Telves3242, but don't you actually mean "self-flagellating"?

  3. Huh. I've only ever heard white people identify as "pink" or "beige" when they were trying to weasel out of admitting they have white privilege, or because they were derailing a discussion of racism by going, "What about the term 'white'? IT'S NOT ACCURATE. RACIST!"

  4. There used to be a joke, told among black people, about the different colors that "white" people turned under specific circumstances. Something about "They turn red when they're angry, purple when they're drunk, and grey when they're dead...but they call us 'colored'". I think it's the same thing you're talking about in your post. Like, "We're on to them even if they don't know it."

  5. My skin color? A medium tan with a slight touch of olive-green (the result of a few weekends at the beach). During the winter, when I'm not so lucky, I'm a moderately pale olive.

    My race? White.

    Color is not synonymous with race. I've met people who racially identify as Black with skin scarcely darker in value than mine, East Asians with skin lighter and pinker, and, of course, Whites who, when I stand next to them, virtually glow.

    I agree with your sentiment that the use of more accurate descriptions of hue than "white" and "black" and "brown" is a step towards debunking White supremacy, but would add that these attitudes would also go far in exposing race for the social construct, the "false reality," that it is.

    But I must say that I wholeheartedly disagree of your description of White people as a tribe. White people are no more a tribe than black people are a tribe. As a pretty regular reader of your blog, I can tell you that language like that is something that often rubs me the wrong way. I thought the purpose was to expose the falsehood of a universal Whiteness, not to impose false stereotypes on a group of people who often have no more in common with each other than their privilege (other than skin that leans a bit on on the lighter side). I feel like this attitude, on the part of anyone-- pinkish-tan, dark mahogany, light copper-- is tremendously unhelpful in winning the battle against racism.

  6. This is definitely a catch-22 situation. I'm American of Irish descent, and my skin is pink. If I identify my race as "white," I'm obscuring my actual color and claiming my allegiance to an oppressive group. But if I refuse to call myself white, describing my race as Irish or my skin as pink, I'm basically refusing to own my "white" privilege, as Softestbullet says—even if I don't claim that the term "white" is racist (towards whites).

    And on forms and applications, where a race question is optional: Is it more oppressive for me to check the "white" box or to refrain from answering? Is checking "white" using my privilege, or is refusing to answer weaseling out of acknowledging privilege?

  7. And then, so were the presumptions of a people who had arrogated to themselves -- and thereby implied the opposite about others -- the pure, clean, unblemished, and uninfected connotations of the word "white."

    i think this is very interesting. i also can't help thinking how ridiculous a word "pink" is...i mean, whenever you hear it, it's as a joke. for some reason Futurama is coming to mind where Fry mentions the robots will eventually notice his fleshy pink body.

  8. Stephanie, that "joke" is still around. My wife has it on a T-shirt, and I've seen it as an e-mail forward several times. I don't really read it as a joke, though. It's a pretty proud statement of fact. It starts "I am black. I was born black. I will die black..." And it usually ends "... And you have the (insert expletive of choice here) nerve to call me colored?"

    I always feel like I'm screwed either way when I fill in the race box on a form. I hate the whole idea of it, but OTOH I know (or at least hope) that the government sometimes uses those responses to identify groups in need of support, so ticking off the box just might help to eliminate racial injustice.

    I tend to agree with frigatebird on the corollation between race and color. They just aren't the same thing. Race might not mean much, but color is an altogether useless identifier. Right now, the parts of my body that get sunlight are darker than my wife's skin. That doesn't change the fact that I'm white and she's black.

  9. Nope, i still mean self-loathing.

    I don't see yourself as someone "beating themselves up" over white racism. I sincerely believe that you really dislike your skin color and wish you weren't white. When you dislike what your heritage and race represents to the extent you seem to do then i would call that self-loathing.

    You seem to see the other side as having more to be proud of while white is just mundane and unaccomplished as a race.

    I'm guessing your going to inform me how i'm wrong though and then work through another blog post where you'll use self-loathing and self-flagellating side by side as if they're the same term with same meaning.

  10. If we're getting technical, black people aren't black, either. Just varying shades of brown...

  11. @frigatebird,
    Yes, but I think you might be missing the fact that most "black" people readily acknowledge that they are in fact brown. (Often because of the awareness that some people really are black, or near-black.) I probably refer to myself as brown more often than black. I have looked at my skin and really thought about its actual color many, many times over the years. When I look in the mirror, I see my brownness. (I rather like it; whatever the slings and arrows, I can't imagine not being brown.) MaconD doesn't see his beigeness unless pressed, and I don't think that's unique.
    It's: "I'm white," and then he stops thinking about it. What's to think about?

    Indeed, as I sit here thinking about it, I'm realizing that I have never heard a white person describe to him/herself as pink. And I have seen some undeniably pink people! I may have heard beige once or twice; not sure.

  12. I share similar views to Macon, but know that I am NOT speaking on his behalf, merely responding to this comment as if it were addressed to me.

    "I sincerely believe that you really dislike your skin color and wish you weren't white. When you dislike what your heritage and race represents to the extent you seem to do then i would call that self-loathing."

    I don't dislike my skin color. I don't wish I was a person of color. I just wish race didn't matter, but the reality that most too often deny is that it DOES matter. And as it turns out, my race represents oppression. It's not a hatred of self, but a hatred of unjust inequality, and I don't think anybody would have a problem with justice.

    "You seem to see the other side as having more to be proud of while white is just mundane and unaccomplished as a race."

    In no way did the pigmentation of my ancestor's contribute to the ideas that they have given society.

    Ask a white person what they like most about being white, and watch them essentially say that the best part is not being a member of the "other side," as you tellingly put it. There's no pride in being the heir to the tyranny of whiteness.

    I believe it was Tim Wise that came up with the analogy that all of the good feelings white people get when looking back on their history and contributions is bought with a 'bad check' in the sense that it's based entirely off of the idea that "whiteness" is anything but a social construct and that it doesn't come with privilege. I might not be right on how he used that, I haven't read him in a long time and I don't have the book nearby to check.

  13. The good point you make about 'secret knowledge' in this blog is why I've always thought that the slogan 'knowledge is power' needs to be supplemented with 'power is ignorance'. People mostly operate on a 'need to know basis' and the more power you have the less you need to know.

    (For possibly an extreme example, see George Dubya.)

    I don't follow your comments on skin colour - I didn't think anyone thought 'black' and 'white' were anything other than labels for social categories only loosely associated with actual skin-tone?

    White people are always going on about their actual skin tone, which is rarely 'white'. I've heard people described as 'pink', 'pallid' 'greyish' or even 'translucent' if they are exceptionally pale. Or 'mahogany'/'orange' if they are a perma-tanned TV presenter.

  14. Actual color has nothing to do with the terms 'white' or 'black'. I know a latina who is darker than many 'blacks' though in the black/white dichotomy, she is considered white. Ditto for many 'whites'. And this has always bugged any person with any 'black' blood (1/2, 1/4, 1/8, etc) is considered 'black'. Myself? I am very pale and I don't really like my skin tone. I find that it is actually mottled even if palely so. I think people of color have much better, prettier skin tone than I and I envy their ability to wear brightly colored clothes.

    Would I want to be a black person? No, not in this racist social system. But not because I think black people (or people of color) are inferior in any way (ignorance runs through all). I am not a child of privledge (beyond being white of course) and life is hard enough as it is.

    Whenever I have a form to fill out, if there is a space to write in, rather than multiple choice, I will write in 'human'.

    Racism is not limited to whites though. My grandchildren are is a summer day camp program at the park and most of the kids are people of color. They experience racist attitudes towards themselves almost every day from the black kids. The elementary school they attend is mostly people of color, latinos and blacks. White at their school is the minority so their friends are mostly children of color.

    I realize that this last paragraph will probably come under fire, but believe it or not, there are while children who are not racist, at least not yet.

  15. technically we're all shades of brown--white people being the lightest which gives us a funny pink hue.


    i can't speak for Macon, but i can speak for myself. i think you're confusing ethnicity for race. one can be proud of their ethnicity and still "loathe" Whiteness (with a capital W). whiteness represents systemic oppression--much of this is built on white = purity and good and really doesn't reflect actual skin tone. i hate Whiteness, but wouldn't call myself self-loathing because of that, and pointing out my actual skin color doesn't mean i hate it.

  16. I know about the use of the word pink to describe white people. I grew up during the Race Man Era and it was a term that was used in conversations by many of my elders.

    For those who don't know what The Race Man Theory is, here's my definition based on the mantra of that era.

    "You are a member of the race. It is your responsibility to represent our race in the best manner possible." It is a pro-Black theory that includes education, self-help and determination, a commitment to be about the business of helping other members of the race to be successful.

    I have lived long enough to realize that racial identity is not void of a cultural identity as well. Even if you could change the way your complexion tone was identified, you would still be classified with the culture.

  17. >Ask a white person what they like most about being white, and watch them essentially say that the best part is not being a member of the "other side,"<

    Are you serious? Call me naive, but I didn't know that. Then why in the world do ppl deny the existence of institutional racism?...You mean, ppl knowingly contradict themselves? *shocked...wide eyed*

    When someone tries to work to free oneself of prejudice, or learn how their privilege unintentionally causes others pain, it's not because they loathe themselves. It's because they love themselves.

    And reading this blog site has helped me deal with so many issues that arose out of my experiences with racism. So even if the site isn't 100% right (who is anyway?), it is still accomplishing something positive. (NB. It doesn't mean I'm learning to think of white ppl as any less than any other ppl though.)

  18. "The remark that did him most harm at the club was a silly aside to the effect that the so-called white races are actually pinko-grey. He only said this to be cheery, he did not recognize that "white" has no more to do with a colour than "God Save the King" with a God, and that it is the height of impropriety to consider what it does connote. The pinko-grey male whom he addressed was subtly scandalized; his sense of insecurity was awoken, and he communicated it to the rest of the herd."

    E.M. Forster, A Passage to India, 1924


  19. Yes, I'm serious. When I first heard this I started asking people for myself and their answers were all about the way they won't be judged because of their skin. It's actually a pretty easy way to open white people's eyes to racism.

  20. Great quote, anonymous, thank you. But why did you end by indicating that you're puzzled? Puzzled about what?

  21. I meant to sign myself as "puzzled". I had not figured out the identity field (duh!).

    puzzled is my attitude to life in general. And the first time I ever posted on an online forum was to ask the distinction between a Jacobian and a Hessian. So the alias stuck.

  22. Ah, got it, puzzled, glad you figured out the name function.

    Ellen, you wrote that whites aren't the only ones who can act racist. Why did you find it worthwhile to point that out? In discussions of whiteness, whites often see a need to make the claim that you did there. Which always makes me wonder -- why do they do that?

  23. So are blacks also deluded since they aren't actually black, but rather dark brown?

  24. Interesting question, Butters, but I write a blog on whiteness, and I'm white, so I don't think it's for me to answer. I hope others here will attempt an answer. I will say, though, that American "blacks"/African Americans aren't just "dark brown," but as varied, and more so, in terms of color differences as so-called whites. I also suspect they're more attuned to such differences among each other than whites are about such differences among themselves, but again, I don't think it's for me to say.

  25. @dejamorgana said...
    "I always feel like I'm screwed either way when I fill in the race box on a form. I hate the whole idea of it, but OTOH I know (or at least hope) that the government sometimes uses those responses to identify groups in need of support, so ticking off the box just might help to eliminate racial injustice."

    omg... me too! I'm so tempted to put "other" as "human"... but yeah... I just put Asian in case it is required for a valid study. I don't think we use "white" on official records here, I think "European" is used. "Australian" is also used... but Australian isn't an ethnicity but I guess most people would assume either European or Aboriginal or smart arses like me. Unlike the US, our African population is very tiny.

    14.42 POPULATION, By self-reported ancestry - how Aussies identify themselves...

  26. Why would a white piece of paper have a lack of color? Is white not a color? A lack of color would be something that is transparent. Suggesting white is not a color is saying white is the normal shade, and anything that deviates from it is a color. I thought you were against whiteness as being the "standard"?

    And are black people black? Are Native American Indians red? Are Far East Asians yellow? I'm pretty sure everyone is just a different shade of brown, at least that's what I was taught. No offense but the tone of your essay suggests that it is only white people who live under an incorrect label of color. That seems pretty filtered, and by extension, blatantly dishonest in your portrayal of different races. Just because your blog is called stuff white people do doesn't mean talking about other races is off limits, does it? That seems to put white people on a pedestal, even if you only give them negative attention. I'm not going to lie, you seem to be doing that a lot with this blog though you intend (supposedly) otherwise.

  27. Thanks for the link gooblyglob. I dunno whether to laugh or what.

    There's an ancestry called 'Australian' and 'other Australian'??? And the indigenous population falls under 'other'?? And same goes for the New Zealand version. So, what, the equivalent in the US would be, 'United States of American ancestry'? And Singapore would be, 'Singaporean ancestry'? Huh?...Well, I guess we learn something new everyday.

  28. Anonymous, isn't a "shade" also a "color"? as in, a shade of blue?

    My understanding of white is that some say it's not a color because it is the absence of color, while others say it's the totality of colors. Either way, it's not a color.

    Putting white people on a pedestal? I don't think I'm doing that, in the sense which that metaphor normally implies (that is, elevating it above others because it's supposedly superior). What I am trying to is focus on it, because, to the detriment of others and of myself, my culture and social surroundings discourage me from doing so.

  29. You could certainly say my skin is colorless, except where I'm tanned. Melanin is what gives your skin color, and I have precious little of it. The whitest skin is literally clear - the colors you see beneath it are the colors of other tissues. So there's a pinkish cast to me, because what you're seeing is literally blood. Whiteness isn't a lack of color, exactly, but it literally is a lack of melanin.

    At least in some people. A lot of white people do actually have significant levels of melanin. Whiteness is certainly not a purely descriptive term, and honestly I'm pretty sure most people are already aware of this.

    Also, I don't think anyone thinks you become white through your appearance. My impression has always been that most people think race means membership in a particular gene pool. Otherwise, why the obsession with being half-this and one-quarter that, the miscegenation laws, the eugenics movements? Appearance is beside the point except insofar as it marks you as part of one group or another.

  30. >I started asking people for myself and their answers were all about the way they won't be judged because of their skin. It's actually a pretty easy way to open white people's eyes to racism.<

    Rob, I'm kinda tempted to try, you think it'll work if a poc said that to a white person?

    Has anyone else tried this?

  31. @fromthetropics - there's a separate category for "New Zealand" and "Maori"... like... huh?

    the New Zealand census info - Ethnic Groups in New Zealand, 2006 Census - there are the categories European, Maori AND New Zealander.

    I have quoted USA census stats before but I've been told here that the data collected is voluntary?

    It's still interesting to look at even if it's not real... B02001. RACE - Universe: TOTAL POPULATION

  32. I don't know if this would work from a POC to a white person. I feel like any time a POC tries discussing race with a white person who starts out as a bit unwilling, they are just accused of "playing the race card," and that their answers to this question might be disingenuous unless asked by a white person.

  33. But that said, I guess it's worth a shot.

  34. I think that I brought this up because in most (if not all) discussions of racism (and I don't mean just your blog), it is something whites do towards blacks. That the general consensus of opinion is that only white people are racist. That it is only a problem of white people. Racism is a human attitude and it is found in members of all colors, races and social groups. I did my best to raise my children not to be racist and my children are raising theirs that way as well. I find myself trying to explain to my grandchildren why certain black children treat them the way they do. I did not, do not, mean that because it goes both ways that that in any way excuses white racism against blacks in this country. Or that the degree or result is in any way the same.

    I understand that your blog is about white racism towards blacks and understanding all the subtle ways white people act this out ofttimes unknowingly and I applaud your attempt to free yourself, all of us from this terrible attitude.

    So I hope I have explained myself a little better.

  35. "My understanding of white is that some say it's not a color because it is the absence of color, while others say it's the totality of colors. Either way, it's not a color."
    I think it's both, depending on whether you're talking about pigments or light...

  36. About white as a color, in terms of light, it's all colors mixed together, with the absence being black, but with (paint) pigment, white is the absence of color, with all the colors added together making black.

  37. u've all got it wrong. white and black are both all colors. neither of them is the absence of anything. the difference is that white reflects all light, whereas black absorbs it.

  38. Now we're just debating semantics.

  39. Anon@ 5:15,
    "White and black are both all colors... the difference is that white reflects all light, whereas black absorbs it."

    Not to beat this dead horse, but...
    White is all colors and black is no color. Period.
    "Color" is our perception of the different kinds of light. If the wavelengths don't make it to your eye, they're not perceived. "White" is when all wavelengths (colors) are perceived. "Black" is when none are perceived, because they're not being bounced back toward your eye (or because there's no light source in the first place). In other words, "black" is your eye not seeing any light.

    (Of course, the other way for something to not bounce light onto your eye is for it to be transparent. That's the definition of transparent: not bouncing back light. It's the other kind of "no color.")

  40. I have a difficult time understanding the term white, and who is or who is not considered white, and why. When I see the vast difference in shade between a fair Brit and compare it with a swarthy and dark Italian, I often wonder how the latter joined the white box.

    Look at the Jackson offspring... they're assumed to be completely white(whatever that is) by a huge percentage of people in this society, but when I look at them, I see a hint of color that says otherwise, especially as the children age. Yet, Bill O'Reilly and others will openly declare that the children are white.

    Whiteness in the south is also difficult to comprehend even though it's held onto by some as if skin coloring is a God. When looking at southern whites, one will see a percentage that come in the darkest tan, have the curliest or waviest hair texture, and features that speak openly about the African or Indian ancestor that is also a part of who they were....... though the African is left unclaimed.

  41. And then there's context. Eurasians are perceived as 'white' when in Asia, but 'Asian' when in Europe or other Western countries such as Australia or New Zealand.

  42. To me, this post ties in to an earlier post about white people "complimenting" black people on their "tans" and suggesting that they couldn't get a sunburn. What struck me about that post was that the white people who said (and continue to say) those things were talking about skin color while pussyfooting around the real issue of race.

    I didn't start wearing shorts or dresses and skirts without tights until well into my twenties because I was embarrassed about my skin color: super pale (almost literally white) and splattered with freckles. You can see my turquoise veins swimming around under ... what? A color that's whitish-yellowish-peachish, maybe. Not the most desirable look in Southern California, but it clearly delineates me as WHITE, and all that entails.

    My Argentine boyfriend has black hair and pale skin. White people assume he's one of them, but other Latinos often address him in Spanish.

  43. Personally, I've never thought the color classification had anything to do with the actual color of the skin. I always though it had something to do with placing status on a continuum. With white--not a color, per se--being on the beneficial status spectrum, and black being on the opposite. Think about it: how many so-called "black" people are actually "black," like a crayon or like paint. I have seen varying shades of brown in my 33 years, but i have NEVER seen a "black" person. So-called red people too. They are actually derivatives of the color brown, not so-called "red."

  44. I really enjoyed this post, but how many 'white' people consider themselves to be solely white? I have entirely European heritage, but when people ask me what I am, I generally say that I'm Polish, since my mother is a Pole. We don't even have the option to distinguish our ethnic identities on survey forms, but neither do people of other ethnic backgrounds. I watched the video of the african american girls and how they're taught to view themselves, and one girl mentioned that she felt a great disconnect from her heritage because she didn't even know where in Africa her family originated from. While the topic of this video broke my heart, her comment emphasized an issue that I think every American has difficulty grasping. 'Black', 'White', 'Asian', etc don't even begin to touch the idea of cultural identity. We use race as a visual means of lumping together people who may or may not have the same cultural heritage and making assumptions about them. Unfortunately, the conglomeration of people of various ethnic backgrounds in the US combined with the physical distance from their 'homeland' forces everyone to lose their specific identity and be pigeonholed into the stereotypes that the media creates.

  45. I love this blog, but this post made me want to point out a slight problem I have with this website. If I am understanding this entry correctly, you are saying that it is racist to label people with inaccurate colors such as black, white, etc.. But, a while ago you had a guest writer on here and she wrote about how the term "african american" is offensive. My problem with this blog is that I feel there is barely anything I can do or say, with regards to race, as a white person and not offend anyone. I feel like you only point out the problems with white people, but you dont usually give a better alternative. For example, I am now entirely confused on how I would go about refering to a black/african american person's race if both terms are offensive. I don't use your site as a feild guide to live my life by any means, but I am certainly influenced by it alot. Your site inspires me to better myself, but oftentimes I am left feeling beaten down and hopeless.

  46. Thank you for explaining how you feel, Katie, and I'm glad to hear that you've stuck around despite those feelings. If you can be more aware of what your being labeled "white" subtly encourages you to think and do, and if you can listen more attentively than most white people do to what non-white people have to say about race, then I'd say that you're making progress. It can be frustrating, but I gather that you'd agree with me that trying to make progress is better than settling into the racial oblivion in which most white people live.

    I'm not saying it's necessarily racist to label people with inaccurate colors. I'm just pointing out that the colors are inaccurate. And since this blog is about whiteness, I was trying to work through the particular ways that the label "white" is inaccurate. As for "black," I don't think most Americans who fit that category object to it. As the guest post you referred to pointed out, Americans often assume that "African Americans" are descendants of slaves, when some are not. That doesn't mean that the term African American is offensive and should not be used; it means that it should be used more carefully.

    Race itself is a fiction, and it tries to corral disparate people into seemingly homogeneous groups. I think it's worth reminding ourselves that those groups are not homogeneous, and that the labels are often terribly inaccurate, and sometimes demeaning. It can be awkward and frustrating to work through all that, but the extreme highlighting of "race" by our white ancestors has left us with this awkwardness. We should feel lucky, at least, and then responsible, if we realize that while it can be awkward for white people who want to wake up to and work against the fiction of race, it tends to be more difficult and painful for people who are not white, and thus often cannot ignore the realities brought about by the fiction of race.

    Does that help you feel any less beaten down and hopeless? I sometimes feel hopeless too, but I still think that thinking and acting against my white training is worthwhile. I hope you continue to think so too.

  47. When I was in college, an Asian-American friend shared his subclassifications of white people: Green and Blue. He didn't ascribe any characteristics or positive/negative connotations to one group or another; he just perceived that within the "white" population there were those shaded with blue and those shaded with green. It became a useful distinguishing tag within my peer group when two people with the same name could be further identified. I.e. Blue Michelle and Green Michelle.

  48. "My Argentine boyfriend has black hair and pale skin. White people assume he's one of them, but other Latinos often address him in Spanish."

    This is funny. My SO is Colombian (by ethnicity, not birth). He is darker-skinned, but looks very much South American, no Mexican/Central American features. Apparently to many white people, brown=Mexican. (He is told all the time to "learn English" and the like.)

    It was always crazy to me that he could tell the difference between a "white" white person and a Latino white person. Except now I can, too.


Please see the "commenting guidelines" before submitting a comment.

hit counter code