Colour Outside the Lines #9: A Day Late and a Dollar Short

I again have to apologize for getting this up a day late. Future threads will probably be scheduled in advance so that I don’t miss one.

Thread rules:

  1. We ask that only those who identify as people of color participate in this discussion. White Avocados, while valued members of this community, should remain in ‘lurk’ mode.
  2. Shaming and hateful speech are unacceptable.
  3. Please keep potentially traumatic content safely behind spoiler tags.
  4. Nobody on this thread is more or less a person of color than anyone else. (We will not set clearly delineated boundaries on who qualifies as a ‘person of color.’ As a starting point, this thread uses the definition of ‘non-European heritage of sufficient prominence to affect one’s navigation of a society built on white normativity.’ However, we recognize that there are identities which skirt either side of the divide. If people feel that they meaningfully experience the identity of being a person of color, then they are welcome to participate.)

[spoiler title=’Additional Guidelines’ style=’default’ collapse_link=’true’]1) The term ‘people of color’ encompasses a broad range of experiences. We are not a monolith. Therefore, we ask that participants respect each other’s experiences during the discussion, and refrain from promoting one particular experience as being more true to our shared identity as people of color. Furthermore, we ask that participants attempt to voice their own experiences as opposed to generalizing on behalf of the community as a whole. Of course, there are some exceptions. Participants are welcome to interrogate how shared experiences like marginalization help to forge common bonds within our community, but please remain courteous towards others in doing so.

2) We ask that participants remind mindful of the following: we would like to keep this space as safe from white privilege as possible. Even people of color can help to perpetuate systems of white privilege. For example, people who enjoy passing privilege may not understand the experience of being a visible minority. What people of one ethnicity know about people of another ethnicity might operate through the proxy of whiteness. We simply ask that a conscious effort is made to acknowledge white privilege. Likewise, we ask that visible minorities consider the unique challenges of passing privilege when posting. Again, we are only asking that participants keep this in mind while commenting.[/spoiler]

The Prompt

The thread title was originally supposed to be a joke, but it got me thinking about stereotypes and judgment. For instance, a common joke in the Indian community is “Indian standard time,” i.e. that everybody arrives (at least) a half-hour late to events, because India is in a weird staggered time zone. But it’s one thing for a community to have their own internal jokes;1 it’s quite another to be judged differently by outsiders based on those stereotypes, often for the same things that people in other communities also do. To wit, is it seen differently when I’m late for something versus when a white person is late for something? So my question to you is: How do you feel you’re judged differently for doing the same things that other people do? In what ways are your regular behaviours interpreted differently by others?

As always, the prompt is just a suggested discussion topic. If you’d like to discuss any other racialized or ethnocultural issues, this is your safe space.