DWW: Driving While White

13 Feb
Courtesy of Film District

Courtesy of Film District

Today my white coworker asked me if black people had the tendency to tail people when driving i.e., follow a car too closely. Apparently he thought it might be a black thing. Why? Because he’s recently noticed several black people tailing him. Someone sound the alarm. I told him that his theory was asinine.  And asked if he took notice of the neighborhoods in which he was driving when tailed — were these black communities? He hadn’t considered that. Of course not.

He used to consult another black female in the office on racial matters (so he told me); but she found another job and guess who’s the lucky backfill? In his defense he did give me the “I’m about to go racial” disclaimer prior to launching into his investigation on tailing. So I was fully forewarned.

On Tuesday he was pissed because some sports writer at ESPN compared Michael Sam to Jackie Robinson. It bothers him when people compare the struggles of the civil rights era to the struggle for equality in the LBGT community. I get it. It bothers me to a degree. But why? Or rather, how did I become the default race consultant during regular business hours? I don’t consult him on white people shit or what I deem may be white people shit? I just check out White People Wednesday if necessary.  Tee hee.

I do appreciate his level of comfort with me and I am open to discussion. How else does one learn and foster community?  But I’m not about to assume the role of spokeswoman for the black race; and that’s the significant piece we tend to forget.

We’re all individuals despite alleged racial signifiers.


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