I walk in the office this morning preparing to counsel and to my dismay, the whole portion of the building was flooded! So- I go back to my cube village (away from the flooded area) and stop to say hello to a beloved colleague. As I prepare to go to my desk, another associate comes through the lobby door with a group full of Ebony naturalistas (no chemicals in naturally textured hair). I greet this colleague (whom I have very little to no contact with) and she looks at my head and says “hmmmm, what do you have in your hair?” I say “nothing”. She takes a 10 second pause (I’m rounding here) and says, “it’s pretty”. I respond “thanks to my ancestors!” and she giggles at my dumbed-down witty response.
This felt as if she was mocking me with her doubtful tone. Not feeling it!
Clearly, this individual is living in a box which was obviously created by our society and consistently perpetuated in her native environment. Another case of that Internalized Racist Oppression (IRO) in which people of color are consistently bogged down by the b.s. that this asshole society has historically chucked in the form of Internalized Racist Superiority (IRS). One definition of IRO is when people of color “accept, believe, or live out negative societal definitions.” IRS on the other hand is the “socialization process that teaches White people to believe, accept, and/or live out superior societal definitions of self and to fit into and live out superior societal roles.” This behavior and way of life maintains the b.s. construct.
Analyzing this situation frustrates me because it reinforces the fact that there are so many uncultured, unexposed, relatively ignorant people in the world who are unaware of the world around them present in the individuals whom they may call a colleague, or a friend. Secondly, this reminds me that I am virtually an outsider as I am residing outside of my native metropolitan, culturally diverse city.
While I have so much more to say about my analysis, I fear that giving too much more time to this at this moment will cause me to not seek the joy in the day. Finding the joy is my goal.
Remember: “Grow, seek, find, learn something new, and challenge mediocrity.”