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Even more hurtful was the night he and I were standing outside a bar in Bushwick and someone we both knew started making racist comments.While I tried to explain to this man why what he was saying was offensive, my boyfriend stood there in silence.
The store had some, but none that matched my skin tone. Once, in my late 20s, my boyfriend and I were stopped by police, and I quickly became frantic about the weed in the car.
He put his hand on my knee and reminded me that I was safe with him. Racism isn’t something white people to face every day.
Since Trump was elected, I’ve felt paradoxically alienated by white people finding or doubling down on their commitment to change.
Somehow their politicization has begun to seem cartoonish, filled with performance and self-congratulation. But it wasn’t only on election night that translating experience felt so fraught.
During a bathroom break or a trip to the bar, I’ll check my phone, and almost always there is a news alert telling me Donald Trump is attempting to curtail, or has just succeeded in curtailing, the rights of marginalized people in America.
It’s an odd thing to then go back to my date and continue the performance of “getting to know you.” I fantasize about walking up to him and saying, “Gotta go!
No matter how close I held the mirror up to their faces, sometimes their good and liberal wells of understanding and compassion were simply inaccessible.
On election night, I thought about all those moments, and I felt overwhelmed at the possibility of taking that on over the next four years.
In every relationship I have with a white man, there comes a moment when they come to understand a simple fact of my life: that racism is an intimate part of my daily existence.