Stereotypes and ‘Earth-Suits’
I just read a story about a Black woman in LA whom was accosted for kissing her White husband in public because cops assumed her to be a prostitute. According to losangeles.cbslocal.com, Ms. Danielle Watts whom is married to Brian Lucas, was approached and detained by officers after they asked for her identification and she refused.
Thursday night while hanging in the casinos with some of my Canadian friends whom were visiting, something similar happened to me. I was Black, and fully clothed with my dress to my knees, flip flops, plain jane, and all of my ‘skin’ covered. While sitting at the bar and having a drink that was already paid for and already given ID, 3 security offers approached my friends and I asking for our identification. My friends were unaware what the speculation was and instead took the additional ID check as a compliment for our ‘youth’. I told them that if I being Black was not sitting with a group of Caucasian Canadians, that they probably wouldn’t have been harassed for their ID a second time while doing NOTHING at all but sitting down. Since I knew what the real reason was behind the casino security officers’ inquiry, I was uncomfortable for the rest of the night and went home. I couldn’t enjoy myself feeling as if I needed to LOOK like the people I am with in order to be accepted by outsiders as their platonic friend. Unfortunately we don’t all look like what we are like. We are all judged to some degree of what our Earth Suit depicts us as by stereotypes implanted by limited experience based perspectives.
It makes my skin crawl when someone sees a young woman with an older man and assume her to be a gold digger after the man’s money or some other form of disingenuous gain. Due to this, I couldn’t have lunch with my Algebra tutor 3 years ago peacefully. He was an older Caucasian man and I as you know am a younger Black woman whom appears to be in her twenties. While I don’t much care about stares at a restaurant, getting harassed by security officers or police for simply showing up Black…. concerns me.
Why is it assumed that most people have a hidden agenda? A handsome man dating a woman in a wheelchair must have a motive? No. He could be very well be in love with her… Just because YOU don’t find yourself capable of the actions others take, doesn’t make the actions when placed upon another, insincere.
Growing up in Nebraska, I never had to ‘match’ my friends. I was taught to just be myself. Still to some degree, people I KNOW are guilty of the same stereotypes. Those are usually the phrases that begin with, “You don’t look like someone who would enjoy _______”.
Oh. Tell me more about how closed f*cking minded you are. You didn’t look like an asshat until now.
If you’re nice to me, I’m nice to you. Your race, sexual orientation, disabilities, and financial status don’t matter when we vibe well. Good people feel good to be around.
Earth Suits. Be careful. We’re not all what we look like we ‘should be’.