In a harrowing story out of San Francisco, 31-year-old white woman Laura Bessinger has been hospitalized after being referred to as a white woman.
“I don’t think I’ve ever experienced pain and discomfort like this,” said Laura, whose parents are both white. “Like, why would someone do that to me?”
Laura, whose recent 23andme revealed that she is of Nordic, German, and British ancestry and nothing else, explained the tragic circumstances that landed her in the emergency room.
“A stranger, a literal stranger, called me white within my earshot,” said Laura, who is Caucasian. “My heart started beating so fast, I broke out into a cold sweat, my face drained of all color. I knew I had to call 911. She said to her friend, and I quote, ‘that white woman walked right into me.” And yeah, maybe I did, but does that give her the right to use a slur against me?”
“People don’t realize that their hateful, racist actions can have consequences for their victims’ health,” Laura added, with a lack of self-awareness that only a woman this white could achieve.
Laura’s friends are confused.
“She legitimately collapsed in the middle of the sidewalk because some passing person mentioned the fact that she was white,” said Bella King-Waverly, a friend who was present for the incident. “I don’t really get it?”
“Right, like it’s not like it’s a bad thing to be called white, especially when you’re…objectively white,” said Persephone Dunn, another friend of Laura’s. “White isn’t a slur.”
“Although I guess when you’re used to your identity being the default, someone mentioning it can feel like an attack,” Persephone added.
But Laura refuses to leave the ICU.
“The doctor has asked me to go home several times, it really feels like he’s not taking my illness seriously. I mean, someone called me white,” said Laura, who took several years of both Irish step dancing and horseback riding lessons as a white youth.
“What if I called him Black?” she added, gesturing toward her Black doctor.
“You’d be objectively correct,” mentioned the doctor.