Hear, ye! Hear, ye! This just in: ignorance really is bliss!
The disclaimer? It’s only bliss to the truly ignorant.
Let me give you a little scenario to illustrate what I mean. Say you’re the token POC (person of color) in a specific setting. It could be at work, it could be with a group of friends, it could be on a strangely non-diverse airplane. Now picture yourself in this setting, minding your own business, when you overhear a conversation between a few people of lack of color. You notice that part of this conversation is being whispered, so naturally, you listen harder. It turns out that (insert exaggerated gasp here) they’re talking about people the same race as you! And, here’s the kicker, it was something super stereotypical and just a baby bit racist. Oh, for why?! And now, suddenly, they realize that you overheard them! Lord, mama, Yeezus…NOOOOO!
What happens next? Oh, this is my absolute favorite part! They turn slightly red, and say those two dreaded, deadly words: no offense. Really? REALLY?! I just heard you say something ridiculously stereotypical about my culture, but oh no, I won’t dear to be offended. “Not I” , said the cat! I will smile and continue to act like you didn’t just say something so damn ignorant that it made Honey Boo Boo look like a genius.
People, listen. It’s not just “minorities” being token and white people being ignorant. People of color are guilty of being ignorant, too. I once overheard a woman tell her friend on a crowded train that white people only bathe once a week. When the white woman standing in front of her gave her a dirty look, the woman replied “I’m just saying, in my experience. No offense.” REALLY?!
Something else that grinds my gears is when someone ignorant feels comfortable enough with you to make you the exception to whatever stereotype they are talking about. Shall I explain? An acquaintance is talking about how all Hispanic woman have ten kids and eleven baby daddies (I don’t know how that math works, but ignorant folk probably have a whole textbook on it). Then she looks at you, a Dominican with a degree and no damn babies. She realizes her mistake, and then says “Oh, not you! You know you’re different than them.” If you could see my face right now, it is a blank stare. Not entirely blank, but with my eyes narrowed slightly and a look of “Is this bitch serious?”
Guys, can we all agree to stop making people feel so damn uncomfortable with our ignorance? Keep your ignorance to yourself or until you are in a room full of your other ignorant friends where you can all have an ignorant party and drink ignorant drinks and just be ignorant. Better yet, how about you take a page out of Kevin Hart’s book and learn something today. And stop saying “no offense!” Chances are, the dumb thing you just said or are about to say is going to be at least a teensy bit offensive. Just sayin’.