Today the cleaning lady at work was making her rounds and she came into my office to empty my trash can. We started talking about where each of us lived and how it is convenient living in our small(ish) town. We discovered that we go to the same doctor office and even see the same doctor, small world! I told her how much I liked that office because they staff is always so nice and it is always clean-feeling. She said “yes, I agree. And not to discriminate but it’s not always crowded with black people, thank God.” I just stared at her because I was offended and confused by her comment. Now let me just clarify something….I AM WHITE and SHE IS BLACK.
She left my office and I just sat there wondering what she meant by that. It broke my heart, to be honest. Did she say that because she truly believes black people are annoying and too many of them in a small space will be unpleasant? Or did she say it because she may think that is how I feel (being a middle-class white female)? Was she trying to relate to me in some way? If she was, boy was she dead wrong about my feelings towards African Americans. Either way, it makes me sad. I’ve encountered this racism once before when I was a “big sister” to a teenage girl, Shakira. She would often make comments to me about how annoying and loud black people were and how they were less intelligent than white people. I would constantly tell her “that is in NO way true”, but she still seemed so down on herself.
I would love to hear some feedback from anybody that reads this. Have you encountered this before? Is it the same way that I might make fun of annoying white sorority girls or does it go deeper than that?