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When The Crime Is Who You Are Part III: Because It Never Fucking Ends

September 5, 2013

1. A little girl was harassed our of school because of her hair. Again.

Who guessed that the little girl was black give yourself a gold star because of course she was. Of. Course. She. Was. according to her school, which apparently had zero problems with her hair last year, “hairstyles such as dreadlocks, afros, mohawks, and other faddish styles are unacceptable.”

Just to be clear, deadlocks, afros and mohawks are not faddish if you are black or black or fucking Pawnee (but not Mohawk, apparently which is information I didn’t know. Yes, even I make totally wrong assumptions). They’re hairstyles with centuries of history and culture behind them.

And now this straight A student has had to go to a new school which could negatively impact her overall education.But, you know, the everyone will look neat in class?

2. A group of black patrons were kicked out of a restaurant because, according to the staff, a white patron was intimidated. I question the staff’s explanation in the first place. It seems…irrational and stupid and a total lie.  No one in the food service industry is going to kick 25 people and their giant bill out at the request of one or two or a few people.

So, I believe that someone was uncomfortable or intimidated but I don’t think it was a customer. I think it may have been one of the workers and I think he or she was “intimidated,” in so far as they didn’t feel like interacting with a large group of People of Color.

My explanation is pure speculation but at least it makes some sort of sense.

Here’s the other thing that really pisses me off about this story. WWC of North Charleston posted an apology to its own Facebook page, saying it is “truly disappointed and sorry that any guests of ours felt disrespected or discriminated against,” and promising a “thorough investigation.”

If they felt disrespected or discriminated against? If they felt that way? As opposed to “We are sorry that one of our employees actually disrespected and discriminated against this group of people,” they decided to make their apology all about the feelings of the people who were harmed.

You know what that’s called? A non-apology.

When a person or group really apologizes they say they are sorry, possibly outline how they were wrong and make amends. When someone pretends to apologize they offer a free meal and make their apology about the victim’s feeling rather than their own actions.

3. A young girl’s formative shopping experience becomes one of shame and trauma.

Which, honestly isn’t all that different from the regular shopping experiences of fat girls all over. Normally, though, we just have to deal with smug looks and disapproval.

This girl, shopping without her mother for the very first time got this:

“I walked in and the lady at the front counter said hey you’re too big to be in this store, I need you to leave,”

You’re too big to be in here? You can’t exist in this space because you are too fat? Seriously? Yes, seriously.

And you know what, the girl in question had the best, most rational response possible.

It just made no sense to me. They should just have more respect, just refrain from insulting people like me and stuff,” said Buster.

Basic respect, decency and compassion, that’s all that was required in all three of these situations. The school the restaurant and the store all failed to show those simple things.

As I mentioned previously, when the crime is who you are you can’t win. No matter what, no matter how hard you work or how well you assimilate. You can be “articulate” and educated. You can be perfect but if you’re not  Caucasian you’re wrong. That’s just how the world works.

Everything you are, everything you do, your skin, your speech, your lips, your nose, every part of you is wrong. Your hair, you r skin, your size. You’re too fat, too black, too nappy. When they crime is who your are, wrong is the state in which you are trapped forever.  And that state of too nappy, too fat, too black is all the excuse that certain people need to target you.

These aren’t isolated incidents. They’re examples of the way that PoC and WoC and fat people are forced to live.

How is this acceptable?

One Comment leave one →
  1. Larissa Walrond permalink
    September 5, 2013 11:46 PM

    I was always paranoid that people would try and kick me out of a store for being too fat for it, my response ready was “ok I WAS going to buy clothes for my skinny friend/sister/whatever, but I’ll go do that elsewhere…” thank fully I’ve not had to use this phrase, and I REALLY REALLY wish that it was not paranoia based on actual events in actual peoples lives!

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