Steve,

I think this is where there’s a huge difference in perception about the statement, “I don’t see you as “x,” I just see you as you.”

Let’s say it’s said to me. The statement is made to me about me. The statement serves one primary functions: it issues “a pass” to whatever that otherness is.

As for musings like “I wish I could avoid what’s in front of me,” that’s never occurred to me. For someone to think that while masking it in a thinly-veiled, backhanded compliment is patent hypocrisy. What most white people fail to realize is that the vast majority of people of color are sophisticated enough (adept at reading nonverbal cues) to know when someone’s trying to shine them on. And typically, we — “I” — will smile and nod, all the while playing along with the charade . . . unless I’m in the mood to call out bad behavior and get into an extended conversation about this very subject.

Written by

Artist, actor, author, editorial director of Our Human Family (http://medium.com/our-human-family). Connect via social media: @clayrivers. Love one another.

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