Jeez! Is this what black people go through all the time?

Or I guess not just blacks but any minority.

Here lately, I’ve been going to this barber shop.(I like to spoil myself with a good ol’ fashoined shave.) Usually, when I go, I’m the only white person in there. (Every one else is black.) These guys have always been nice to me. They like to gossip a lot and they’ve never scoffed at me when I throw my two cents in on the conversation. Basically, what I’m saying is, these guys are a friendly bunch of people.

Still tho’, whenever I leave there, I always get this feeling in the back of mind that these guys don’t particularly appreciate my patronage too much. I always just shrug the feeling off because I figure it’s just my mind f’n with me.

No. In spite of what you may have seen in the movie Barber Shop, all black people don’t hang out in barber shops gossiping and shooting the shit.

I feel the same way about “ethnic” markets, in this area primarily Middle Eastern or Asian. most of them have opened to serve areas with a significant population of the same or similar ethnicity, and anytime I’ve gone into one I’ve always felt like I was wasting their time or annoying them. So I don’t really go there anymore.

Is this a whoosh? Or did you completely misunderstand the OP? :confused:

I don’t know about “all the time”, but I think it’s a fairly common. I feel uncomfortably conspicuous at work when I’m the only brown female in a room of 10-20 white males. Also while camping - it seems that only white people go camping in my area.

The difference, I think, is that minorities get used to this feeling and learn to deal with it. White people don’t have as many of these experiences, so when it does happen it may be more jarring.

I literally JUST came from the barber for a shave. Mine’s Lebanese, however. His partner’s Lebanese. They have a TV on playing Arabic movies, they speak arabic on the phone and amongst one another, and a sizable portion of their customers are Arab. I feel a little weird, since they could be talking smack about me the whole time and I’d be none the wiser, but at least with a black barber in the U.S. I presume there’d be no linguistic barriers, right?

Unless they were immigrants or Creole or something. But yeah.

What’s “this area”? Where I live, in Central Ohio, I regularly go to Chinese, Japanese, Indian and Middle Eastern groceries, and I never get the feeling that I’m not wanted as a customer.

If they’re friendly, I don’t see the problem. (I don’t think friendly service from white people is what black folks have really had a problem with.)

If I could find a barber shop that would shave me, I wouldn’t worry about being the only white guy there.


Kind of like going to the hospital: Everyone will be nice to you… and then, when you leave, they will talk about anything that is wrong with you, and they’ll laugh and tell jokes about you as soon as you leave.

In the OP’s case, color isn’t the issue directly, but the clique is formed on color and you ain’t part of the click.

When you leave, they talk about you, but not because you are white.


Back in the nineties, I lived for several years in a neighborhood in which, a lot of the time, I was basically the white person in the store or whatever. It felt weird at first but I got used to it and people were almost always fine. Every once in a while, though… for example, about a month ago I went out to a restaurant not far from there with my family. We were getting bizarrely poor service from the waiter… then I realized we were the only white people in the place. I can’t say for sure that that was the reason, but it does make you wonder.

I live in a predominantly black neighborhood and while most of the time it isn’t an issue it does occasionally feel weird. The worst is when I’m walking to the train or to dinner or something when I can hear snippets of conversation from people who don’t know I’m behind them and I hear things like, “White folks are so stupid” or “White people are all evil” or, the most horrifying one, “If I could kill all white people I would because they should all die.” :eek:

believe me, it’s most likely all in my head. If I took the time to explain to you just how self-conscious I am, before long you’d probably comb your hair over your face, go sit in the corner, and cut yourself while listening to Taproot.

I was the only white person in several of my high school classes and this kind of talk was very common, and no one cared if white people overheard or not. White people were often blamed for the ills of society, and often in hyperbolic terms by some overzealous minorities.

Even when I went to college people continued to blame white people for everything, only then the criticism was more constructive than “white folks are so stupid.”

I never had a problem with it unless they blamed me personally for all the sins of white people. Otherwise, I knew that racism or resentment toward white people was more harmful to minorities than it was to whites. Unfortunately, white people make up most of the country and most of the professional and working class. If you want to be successful there is no way to get being nice to white people.

this clipseems appropriate for this thread…

The website linked to starts the clip off with a commercial…

My husband’s family reunion is composed of two hundred blond blue-eyed Scandinavian-descent Protestant Midwesterners… and Asian me. “Hi! I married into this family, can you tell?” Oh, yeah, there has been the occasional brunette who has married into the family over the years, but I was the only non-white person there.

Even growing up in the South I never had quite that substantial feeling of weirdness, though everyone was very nice.

This makes me go :dubious:. I want to know why there’s a problem finding a barber shop that would shave you. I’m imagining any number of unfortunates: Your beard is steel wool? You have two heads? You’re leprous? Mark of Cain? It’s all matted up like a rhino horn?

What is it? I must know.

I think he’s referring to the shave. Traditional barbers are disappearing with the rise of the cheap hair salons that aren’t licensed to shave with a straight razor.

Is that really the reason? The idea of it having to be a straight razor never entered my mind. I haven’t seen a place that will shave with even those electric clippers.

Heck, if I knew it was using a straight razor, I never would have lamented the loss that seemed to happen before I was born.

I’m not white and I’ve never really felt this way. Then again, I’ve grown up in nearly all white settings most of my life and pretty much just identify as white at this point. Weirdly when I’m in more diverse settings I tend to notice that more or feel out of place. I guess I’m a [insert the light brown version of Oreo of your choice].