A Space for People of Color, By People of Color. Be Cool.
A Space for People of Color, By People of Color. Be Cool.

I’m curious about what people think of this post on BoingBoing from a white woman who was in line behind some black women at the supermarket. They are using EBT to pay for groceries and the machine declines their PIN—three women in a row, one woman three times. Then her debit card is declined and she points out the differential treatment she, as a white woman, got from the white cashier.

I do think white people need to be sharing more of these stories. For example, after being racist, the cashier then tries to bond with the white writer over a presumed shared racism/disdain for poor people. ETA: I just wanted to add here that I didn’t want to pour haterade all over the writer. This just struck me as interesting/perplexing because she can very clearly her privilege and the racism, but had no vocabulary for explaining it to her (largely) white readership.

But I’m not sure what to make of the takeaway. For one thing, it doesn’t seem as clearly written as the rest. What exactly is she trying to say?

We roll our eyes at the revealing phrase, “I’m not a racist, but...”, and it seems to fit this situation.

But, just this time, let’s take it at its word. The checkout lady, in a busy store, under pressure and confronted with a stuck line, wasn’t a “racist”—she just grabbed at what seemed the simplest, fastest answer to an incredibly stressful problem. We don’t have to let it define us. We just have to accept that racism often works through us, messing with our heads, to make us stupid. It blinds the best of us to the things we do in its service.


And, because POC need fun too, here’s a Mama raccoon teaching a baby how to climb a tree. Motherhood is exhausting. I’m pretty sure she needed a nice glass of wine after that,

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