"A White man calls out a black woman saying, I had the same experience and never complained!" Lesson on Racial Trauma

Comfy, Safe Couch

*This is a work of nonfiction based on actual events I experienced firsthand; used with permission.

I shared an article recently about a sad experience I encountered at an airport some years back where a White cashier ignored me and asked the White guy in front of me to proceed when I was clearly the first in line. The overwhelmingly positive reactions that I received from hundreds of readers were so encouraging and uplifting. I must however also point out that there were also several comments that were sad to read. There were people saying the experience never happened while others completely minimized it.

One reader said, "Damn!! I wish I knew this was RACISM!! Hell, this has happened to me a LOT!! And like YOUR case, the person informed them that I was next!!! No issue, accidents happen!! Oh, and btw, I’m a WHITE MALE!! Your incident was NOT RACISM!!!! It was an accident!! And YOU, being a RACIST, couldn’t wait to play your race card!!! YOU ARE the problem!"

I have been asked many times to provide my ID after using my credit card when the White person in front of me wasn't. Police have been called on me when walking in a predominantly White neighborhood. I worry about my black boys going to the store by themselves and pray that they will return safely. I have been denied promotions many times and a less inexperienced White person has been promoted instead. I have way too many incidences to even count.

These experiences accumulate over time and can negatively impact a person's mental well-being. Racial trauma, which is also known as race-based traumatic stress, is the set of consequences that occur when a person of color deals with racism and discrimination. It encapsulates the varied psychological, mental, and emotional harm that is caused by witnessing racism and discrimination and by experiencing it firsthand.

As we continue to heal as a collective, it's critical that we pay attention to how our words may impact others. Are they healing or are they causing more harm?

I will end with this beautiful comment from another reader, " You chose the mature thing to do. This is what it’s going to take to turn things around. And those ppl that are doing what this cashier did is inexcusable". They call out the unacceptable behavior while also acknowledging and validating the experience.

Thanks for reading my article. Please don’t forget to like it, comment, and share it with friends and family

Disclaimer: This article is written for educational and informational purposes only and is not a substitute for individualized support. The National Domestic Violence Hotline is 1-800-799-7233.

Comments / 3234

Published by

I am a writer who writes about her own life experiences and what I have learned while acquiring my clinical experience. I hold a master of arts degree specializing in marriage and family therapy. The content shared here is for educational purposes and is not a substitute for seeking therapy.

California State

More from Comfy, Safe Couch

"I feel ashamed, sad, and depressed after anger outbursts". A man admits to throwing tantrums and needing help

*This is a work of nonfiction based on actual events I experienced firsthand; used with permission. I went to a restaurant the other day and after the hostess brought out my food, the meat was not well done as I had asked. Instead of asking the hostess to return it and make it the way I needed it, I decided to just eat it instead of returning it. I couldn't bear the guilt of seeing the friendly hostess feel like she didn't match up to my expectations. I decided to inconvenience myself and avoid the guilt instead of making the hostess feel bad. After I was done and went to pay at the cashier's desk, I noticed there was an additional charge that was added to my bill by mistake. I lost it at that moment. I was mean and rude to the cashier and even told them the meat was not well done. I threw a tantrum because I already had built up dissatisfaction that I never expressed, to begin with. I must admit this, expressing my needs when I am calm is such a challenge for me. I feel very guilty saying no or telling people I am not satisfied with their services. Setting boundaries leaves me with so much guilt and makes me think I am "torturing" people. The sad reality is that when these people continue to do the things I am struggling to say no to, I build up anger over time and before I know it, I am exploding and calling them names. This behavior has cost me lots of relationships and when all is said and done, I am left feeling lonely, ashamed, and depressed. I am open to seeking professional help now because I didn't realize how deep of a problem it is until I paid attention to the patterns I observed.

Read full story

Comments / 0