Growing up in the city, a person-of-color may go through life never recognizing the disrespect of humynity that is racially charged. That some white people always expect the black person to move out of their way is harder to prove in a “post-race” world. A step into America’s marginal home—the Buffalos, Urbanas, and Green Castles—will reveal more explicit racial encounters. During my weekend spent presenting research at the University of Buffalo, an Indian womyn would not let me order food at her restaurant. At a bar, two white males refused to acknowledge my presence as I asked for a chair. In those streets I was among a true universe of white and black; anyone preserving their whiteness needed to show me hatred.
I was Cuba Gooding Jr. in the arms of Nia Long, inheriting an attitude of the canon. My desire to confront the hater lurking everywhere calmed in my attempt to think, to connect individual action to the reality of society. Knowing or not, any experience of racism starts with the person that tries to defend the camp: white or black. To be white in America has nothing to do with European heritage—thus, the myth of racism. Rather, whiteness extends its membership to folks that can demonstrate their hatred of blackness. We learned from Frantz Fanon that racists are too cowardly to actually hate; what they actually do is perform petty gestures to give the illusion of hatred.