It Don’t Matter if You’re Black or White

I just finished reading How To Be Black by Baratunde Thurston. It was part memoir and part comical self- help book. Now, not to state the obvious but I’m white. You might find yourself wondering how a white girl ended up with a book about being black. I found out about it through an article in the paper where it was another white girl’s answer to “What books are on your bedside table?” I went to the store immediately.

It was quite a funny read. I laughed a lot as he told stories about growing up and set some stereotypes straight.

It was also a quite thought-provoking read. I found myself thinking a lot about people and the world. About race, discrimination, and segregation. About history, the ways the world has changed, and the ways it’s still the same.

It has me currently thinking about if racism and discrimination still exist and why.

I can remember growing up, seeing and hearing about racism and it bothering me. I remember asking questions and being unsettled by the answers. I have recently had comments made to me and around me that make my heart beat really fast, and I have to take a deep breath before I respond. I hear jokes throughout the halls of my middle school and it makes my heart feel heavy and sad.

I can remember growing up, seeing and hearing about discrimination and it bothering me. I have heard statements made about people’s race, religion, gender, and sexual orientation that don’t sit well with me. I have made my own ignorant comments about people based on their religion that I regret saying. I hear jokes throughout the hallways of my middle school that make my stomach hurt.

I find, on a middle school level as well as with adults, it’s harder to dislike someone you have a relationship with. It’s harder to talk trash, judge, or make gross jokes about a group of people when you have a friend in that group of people.

I don’t know how we change racism and discrimination. I have a hunch it has something to do with love, understanding, Jesus, and building relationships. I think it might involve getting out of our comfort zone and experiencing other people and traditions. We might have to get over ourselves and our beliefs for 5 minutes and listen to other people’s stories. If we did I think things might just be a little different. I don’t know though.

What do you think?

… Courtney



  1. How do you comment on something that is so true of all of us. There is one form of -ism that we aren’t comfortable with. For the most part I don’t find myself being uncomfortable, but I do find myself struggling with love and acceptance. How to separate the two …

    Keep the blogs coming. Love them!

  2. Thanks Carrie! I wrote and deleted the word “acceptance” maybe 5 times while writing this… I almost think it’s more about just being open to different kinds of people than it is accepting their choices etc. I never know what I might learn or be able to do when I just allow myself to be open to people different than me.


  3. I learned recently — like two months ago — how radical Jesus’s statements about women were during that time, because women were considered less-than-human, basically. for some reason that was shocking to me. I don’t know why, I guess I had never really THOUGHT about it…

    being a white, middle class female living in suburbia, I can’t really say that I have ever been *discriminated* against, so I don’t even KNOW what that would feel like, but I do think it is different than being judged. that, I have experienced, but it was still applicable to ME (or the other person), not a general, wide-sweeping view of “people like me” or something.

    I just bought the book. I bought another book you mentioned, too. thank you for spending $20 for me today. ๐Ÿ˜‰ I am sure it was money well-spent!

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