Lately I’ve been reflecting on a recent, ironic however race-related joke made – to which I hold no grudges, apologies were accepted. It did get me thinking. How often do we submit our own feelings for the sake of not “making a fuss”? How often do people of colour submit for the old accusation of making everything about race? Spoiler alert: yesterday I was brown, today I am certainly brown – tomorrow I’ll most likely be brown. When it’s something you live with daily, it is everything.
If someone makes you uncomfortable with ignorant remarks then you sure as hell should make them uncomfortable by calling it out. The majority of my teenage years I spent letting comments, “jokes” and jibs roll over. But that’s part of the problem. By not saying anything, in a way you are condoning it.
I’ve learnt a lot since then. I’m not sorry if my browness offends you, or displeases you. You’ll just have to come to terms with it. I mean I have, years later – but I have. Being brown is not something I will ever shy away from again out of fear of the bigots and racists.
I say follow your gut. If it makes you uneasy it’s probably time to extend that uneasy feeling and talk about it.