So lately I've been thinking about whether or not you can consider something to be a racist occurrence if the people involved just don't know any better. I'm going to start out by saying something that should be obvious and that is that I don't like racism. If you're a decent human being you'd think the same, but recently I've come across a few people who seem to think it's okay to not know that what they're doing rubs me, and others, the wrong way--that way being, namely, racist.
Yes, I'm being rubbed racist-ly.
I guess I wouldn't care unless a few things that happened in the past two weeks hadn't occurred or maybe I'm just trying to play victim because I'm a sook. Either way I'm still going to write about it.
I remember catching a peak hour train from Central Station after school, and usually you can just hold up your ticket and the station operators barely look at it and they just let you through, but there I was in all my law-breaking blackness with my ticket intending to walk through like the 50-odd swarm of people that had just done so around me to be stopped and asked for my ID and so the guy could scrutinize my ticket. I didn't think of it but then this white guy came up to me and said, "that's fucking bullshit they didn't even check my ticket because I'm white. That's bloody racist" OWTTE (which Sandra tells me means, "Or words to that effect"). That made me think well yeah that was pretty racist but I'm not dying so I'll get over it.
My school uniform is pretty effed up in that no public transport workers ever think I am really a high school student. I was getting on my bus to go home, and I showed the bus driver my school ID to which he said, "I don't know this school *longest pause in the world*", to which I said,
"… it has the Queensland transport logo on it…"
"… That doesn't mean a thing!"
So he made me pay the adult fare.
I swear some bus-drivers are just small human beings who like to feel big by abusing all the power their jobs offer them.
He didn't even ask for the school IDs of other high school-aged kids, and it might just be because I look old for my age, but then again, they were all white. Some of them weren't even in uniform though. T_T I like to think I don't jump to conclusions, but was he honestly suggesting that I had made a fake school ID card, worn some fugly cheap business man uniform just to get a cheaper fare on my bus home. If I had the ability to invest that much effort in anything I would definitely not be as penniless as I am. I guess that's not really racist as much as it shows that the bus driver was the equivalent of a Pompei-sized douchebag erupting. It's still annoying though.
A teacher from school saw me wearing shorts on some extra-curricular school activity and noted how my knees looked, "dirty". They then said that it was as if I "don't scrub", and "need to wash [my] knees". I was silently astounded. There was no way that I thought a teacher would say something so blatantly uneducated. It's not like coloured people are rare in the world. I felt like I had stepped into a time warp and was remembering stories my primary teachers would tell me about there not being mixed swimming pools in case the colour ran off the indigenous Australians. More than anything, I was annoyed that such ignorance was able to prevail even until this day and age. My dark skins folds when my knee is not bent which makes it look darker or ''dirty'' as one might suggest, but honestly who would even say something like that. It's not like people go around saying, "you look like you need to wash", to strangers without causing offence. Even though the teacher probably isn't racist, I felt like that was a stupid thing to say considering my skin colour.
Something else that annoys me, but that I'm sometimes guilty of, is mistaking peoples' identites. A lady at the daycare where I went to drop my nephew off told me he couldn't come in because they have a rule not allowing children with fevers to return for at least a day. I asked if she was sure and she told me that my nephew had a fever of 40 degrees and that my house had been called to collect him yesterday. I told her that there was some mistake and that it wasn't him, because he wasn't even there the previous day. Then she told me to wait, that I was probably wrong and then she left to fuck around for ten minutes/check.
How and, more importantly, why did she think that she was correct? I wouldn't have minded had she not approached me with a face that was more "what the hell do you think you're doing?" than "sorry, we're just upholding company policy."
T_T WTF? If you hadn't mistaken every brown kid in your class for one another this type of embarrassing mix-up wouldn't happen. That is why mistaken identity annoys me, and I'm not entirely certain whether it's racist or not. I always used to say that racism is only when you do something like say, "this person sucks because they r x race" as opposed to "this x race person sucks", but I realize that there's so much more to it than that.
I know I'm overreacting but these daily annoyances are starting to get to me, and sometimes I feel like being unintentionally racist back, but even then I would feel like I know what I'm doing. So why doesn't everyone else?