“A lot of people just look and see skin color. I’ve actually had people ask me was I Black or was I White first. A White gentleman came up to me and said ‘I thought you might be White, but then I saw your lips.’ One girl said to me ‘I’ve been wanting to ask you this question, but I didn’t feel comfortable asking you because I thought that you might be offended, but are you Black or are you White?’ And I was just like, ‘Well, I’m always Black.’ When we were done with the meat of the conversation, she laughed and said something about my hair and my butt gave it away. People definitely let you know that they view being Black as being very literal – the amount of pigment you have. ‘Your skin is White, therefore you’re White. Or are you?’
— Sembene McFarland
© 2012 Black Fiya Works
I have this same skin condition but because I’m white it’s barely noticeable. I have patches of the non-pigmented skin on my ankles, knees, fingers, ass and a tiny splotch on my face. I’m actually a mixture of ethnicities including Native American, Mexican, Czech Jew and Spanish so my mother and siblings have much darker skin than me. My mother always highlights how ‘lucky’ I am that I came out white so my vitiligo is unnoticeable.
Reading the quote above really made me check my white privilege and highlight just how ignorant and self-absorbed and ungrateful I am.