A Not So Basic White Bitch

“Someone should have really told you you’re white.” She smiled at the friend who made this observation and shook her head in disagreement, “I like to think of myself as a Milano cookie,” she said with a wink, “white on the outside, brown on the inside, and classy all around.”

She had grown up as the minority at her elemntary school, and liked to think that this had influenced her to be a little less ‘white’. One of the biggest insults at her school was to accuse someone of color of being ‘white-washed’, or influenced by white people and doing white shit. This could consist of wearing preppy clothes, getting good grades, doing extra cirricular activities, and a miriad of other things that were generally frowned upon in a low-income school in the ghetto. It was more important that you established your reputation, collected a gang of friends, and were ready and willing to fight anyone who slandered your name. Even at the age of ten she had noticed this placement of value, and attempted to fall in line with her peers so that her white ass didn’t stick out for ridicule. Being an introvered and painfully shy child, her main aim was to fit in growing up so that she wouldn’t be noticed. It wasn’t until Fifth grade, her last year in elemetary school, that she knew this was damn near impossible in the ghetto.

Her parents were from New Jersey originally and had moved to the Golden State in the early years of their marriage, before her existence was even thought of. When they had moved all those years ago, her hometown was a place of new growth and development, and a seemingly wonderful location to raise a family. By the time she was brought into this house however, it had become surrounded by the Crest and her street was one of the only safe havens within 20 blocks. She was of course, completely unaware of this at her young age, but did find it quite curious that their neighbor’s house was burned down in the middle of the night while a group of men dressed in oversized clothes standing across the street, watched their handiwork and drilled home the message to the boy who lived there, that there was no escaping his commitment to them. All that she knew is that her parents had set a hard boundary of a two block radius, and that’s where her and her brothers had to stay, otherwise it was a life or death matter. She knew that she was one of the only children with light skin in her class, and that she was inadvertently a dork because of it. She also knew however, that if she just played along with being a silly little white girl, then she could get by a whole lot easier. The issue being however, that she truly did not see skin color when she first looked at someone in the first place. It took her years to put two and two together, that although her brother was clearly adopted and of Asian decent, but a member of her family, that they were not blood related and did not have the same genes. She saw him as having the skin tone of brother, and she had the skin tone of sister. There was no question that they were related, and she was confused whenever someone would ask her about the Asian man she was with and how he was related to her. Later on in life, she began to deflect the “Is that your boyfriend?” assumptions with the response, “no, there’s actually this really cool thing called adoption, have you heard of it or were you raised in a backward hick town where everyone is related and looks the same?” Her volatile reaction being unexpected, they usually just shut their mouth in embarrassment, however she had begun to lose patience for these kind of ignorant assumptions.  Why did people feel the need to comment on their skin color at all? She recognized that the color of her skin did not dictate her personality and past time activities; how could everyone else not see that as well?

What she discovered truly weighed heavier than how white you are, is how confidentaly you rock that skin color. She grew to be unabashedly white and proud of it. She was everyone’s token white friend. She continued to get good grades, play volleyball, and drink vanilla lattes because that’s what she liked doing, and would only laugh when others accused her of being a basic white bitch. She was indeed white, but anything but basic.

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