Normally, ignorant racial microaggressions are enough to make anyone react with anger. But Letisha Werner isn’t just anyone: This incredible, strong woman was called ‘pretty for a black girl’ and didn’t immediately resort to taking a match and lighting anyone on fire!
After being told she’s beautiful despite the black features she was born with, we’re astounded that Letisha didn’t set fire to anything at all!
“It took a lot of internal strength,” said Letisha. “But I knew the same person who called me ‘pretty for a black girl’ would also call me an ‘angry black woman’ if I set them aflame, so I put away my lighter fluid and just sort of took a deep breath.”
Letisha explained that this is not the first time she’s received this double-edged remark.
“I had teachers say it to me in elementary school, I’ve had men say it to me when they’re flirting with me at a bar,” said Letisha. “Like, do they expect me to be flattered by them basically telling me that black women are inherently ugly but I’ve defied the odds? It’s disgusting. Still, I’ve somehow kept myself from fully barbcecuing any of these straight up racists. Does that make me a hero? Maybe!”
Katie Holland, the coworker who gave Letisha the backhanded compliment, is also confused.
“I don’t understand what the issue with what I said was,” said Katie. “I told her she was pretty, even though it’s a known fact that most black girls aren’t. I thought she’d appreciate that? Why are her hands shaking while she slowly shoves a can of sterno back into her desk drawer?”
Wow! It’s truly amazing that someone can be this blind to their own biases that have been intentionally shaped by eurocentric beauty standards!
Fortunately, Letisha knows her own worth.
“I’m not beautiful even though I’m black, I’m beautiful and I’m also black. Let’s not get it twisted,” explained Letisha. “I know some people think that whiteness is the baseline for good looks, but I don’t buy into that.”
“Although someone telling me that I’m pretty despite my race as a compliment is enough to make me wanna set them ablaze,” she added.
We’re amazed that you didn’t, Letisha!