The Brown Eye Blue Eye Experiment
I spend a lot of energy making white people feel comfortable around me.
There, I said it. I have been keeping this a secret for a while now, but I realized it recently when I was in the elevator with someone who was obviously nervous about being alone with me. Now, I was in an elevator in my own building, where I have lived my entire life.
MY ENTIRE LIFE.
I saw her nervousness, and in a higher-than-my-normal-voice pitch, made a joke, self-deprecated (word?), smiled, and giggled.
I believe in doing this anyway, just to make people's day better, but I noticed that day where it came from.
I was worried for her, and wanted her to feel better.
I could be wrong, and I wish I could say that she was nervous because she found me SO attractive. That's probably a better way to imagine it.
But either way, I did it because I was confident that she was nervous because I am a man of color.
And then here's the part that hurt.
My beautiful wife is pregnant right now, and I had the thought that I hope our child looks more like her (white), so that I don't have to teach that skill to my boy.
It's a good skill; how to make other people feel comfortable in your presence, but I just think he'd be better off without needing it the way feel I do.
That's a pretty heavy confession, and kinda sad, and I choked up a bit when I told Laura that.
She did too.
And even weirder is that for all of those feelings that I have, I'm relatively light-skinned, the vast majority of my friends are white, and for most of my life, I'm the "whitest" of my non-white friends.
To the Latinos I'm pretty watered-down, and to the blacks, I'm kind of an honorary member.
So, if I were REALLY dark, I would probably be even funnier and friendlier!
Or not, and after a while you just say "fuck it", and give into the expectations.
And the girl who leaves in the video isn't just showing her ability to remove the stigma, but also the ability to just leave "the system" that berates her and hates her...
Which is a decision a lot of my people of color make.
But it's ALWAYS a person's individual choice, and always a matter of personal responsibility.
So I'm going to keep on smiling, and not worry about WHY someone needs me to.
"The Angry Eye" | part 2 | Brown Eye-Blue Eye Experiment - YouTube: "