You might know me as the author of the infamous essay, “I Was the Only White Person On My Subway Car And Now I GET What It’s Like To Be A Minority.” My story came about as I was coming home from Whole Foods one night, wondering why I rarely matched with people of color on OKCupid, and it dawned on me: I was the only visibly white person in this subway car.
Suddenly, I. was. The. Minority.
I was S.E. Hinton’s
Queen Latifah? I get it. Slave spirituals? I get it.
The oppressive weight of these people’s collectively painful history almost made me faint on the floor like a dead person. But a young, Hispanic-appearing, cis-possible woman tapped me on my petite white shoulder. “Are you okay?” She asked selflessly. Here I was, a white minority, yet she showed nothing but concern for me. It shamed me. I couldn’t even speak. I pulled my shaking body up and ran out the door.
A lot of people were angry at my revelation, and told me in the comments of my revelatory piece. And you know what? That’s okay. A lot of people were angry at Moses when he came down the mountaintop. A lot of people are angry at Miley for being an innovator.
People claimed in the comments that I “didn’t get it.” But you’re wrong. Your rage surrounding racial injustices are what I am actually, finally, truly beginning to understand.
The angrier folks got at my story, the more page views it received. The more page views it received, the more interviews I had with FoxNews, CNN, and RaceGiggles. Then came the article and book deals. And the more I understood what it felt like to be discriminated against for giving voice to my deeply personal story about race.
That night on the train, I realized what it was like to be a minority, but now I am also one of the few people in the world who has been both vilified AND able to quit my job because I experienced discrimination and refused to be silenced!
And that, ladies, makes me a true minority.