A different shade of color

by Not Quite White, 17 Jun 2020

From the outside, I look white. Privilege is assumed.
On the inside, I am Armenian American. I am second generation and not ‘mixed’ with anything.
Our people were persecuted in a holocaust much like the Jews, but it is not officially recognized. This persecution is why my family fled to the west, who sought asylum and tried hard to integrate into the melting pot of America. We were raised outside of the culture so we could be American and blend in. My skin has undertones of yellow, my eyes are dark, and my hair was too, but now it is now gray.
I have had the accusation of “your family owned my family!” thrown at me. No, they didn’t. We weren’t even here then. And besides, we had our own stories of servitude to tell. “You are white – you had it easy!”. No. We are hard workers of the land. Crops and weather don’t give preference to anyone. My surname caused raised eyebrows when 9/11 hit, because it “sounds like one of THEM”. I am not an Extremist; I am a follower of Jesus.
As a woman, I’ve dealt with physical/sexual harassment, employment discrimination, and compensation bias.
As a woman of an unknown color, I was assaulted during the Rodney King riots because I was 'white'. My color was held against me when it was convenient like when an employer needed to check off a box for the sake of demographics, two checks for me: gender and race.

All this to say: not everyone who looks white is white. Look around you and see if you can see all of the colors.

If you'd like to read more, here is a link to an excellent poem that I didn't write, but could have.
Not Everyone Who Looks White Is White
https://armenianweekly.com/2018/10/13/not-everyone-who-looks-white-is-white/


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