Oh You Comfy Huh?
I attended a birthday celebration at a winery this past week. When I arrived, I took a seat at one of the reserved tables for the party. As I sat conversing with friends, I realized that there was an unfamiliar group of women sitting at a reserved table adjacent to mine. They sorta looked like this:
Somewhere under all those papers on that table is a reserved sign flipped over on it’s face. That’s right, these folks just waltzed right up into the reserved area and straight Deebo’d a table. Then I looked across the room and witnessed a late-middle aged White woman sit down at the birthday cake table. The cake said Happy Birthday on it and took up damn-near half the table for fucks sake. Then a White guy walked past the wine selection in white socks and sandals.
This evidence suggests that a good number of White people are simply… comfortable. Examples of this are evident everywhere I look. There have been too many times when I have gone to an interview in a suit and my competition comes through looking like this:
Or the times that I’ve witnessed White people eating on the floor. Any floor. Airport floor, the sidewalk, waiting area carpet; I just keep seeing them eating on the floor!
Or the White boss who pats and grabs everyone’s shoulders. My boss pats my shoulder to tell me “good job”, “good morning”, “you were late”, “nice presentation”, it never stops. I had a chip on my shoulder and this guy grabbed it. That’s how bad it is.
These are a range of phenomena that suggest a high degree of comfort in a variety of situations. Not every White person is the same, but I do think they’re pretty comfy compared to the rest of us, which makes sense to me because White people live as the “norm”. And in comparison to many Black people, they live with little environmental and social threats. If normal “flesh colored” band aids matched my skin, if I didn’t have to code-switch 8 hours a day and if I weren’t a part of a demographic that made 72 cents to every White-man dollar, I’d probably feel pretty comfortable too…