“I am going away to an unknown country where I shall have no past and no name, and where I shall be born again with a new face and an untried heart.”
I am pretty sure I have grown an extra arm. Or maybe I am purple from head to toe. Or possibly I am eighteen feet tall but haven’t realized it yet. That’s how I feel when people stare at me here, I feel as if I am an extraterrestrial. It continues to surprise me how, just because my hair is a little lighter and my eyes are blue, I am treated as if I am a different species. I am constantly pointed at, stared at, and followed, just because my skin color is a bit different. Though I have always been happily different than most of my peers, conformity is definitely not something I stand for, there are times that I wish I could just blend in. I want to live life in these rural remote villages, but I don’t always want to be the center of attention.
The staring and curiosity I can deal with, normally, but something that has put me off from the start is the discrimination towards whites, a “white supremacy” discrimination. People here are constantly praising my white skin, telling me that they wished theirs was white as well. Some women even powder their faces everyday to make their skin lighter. Children (and occasionally grown women) try and ask my opinion as to “how white they are,” comparing themselves to their friends and neighbors in hopes they will come out the “whitest.” Marrying darker is seen as shameful, and being called black is an insult. Plainly stated white is seen as better here, and though I am white, I absolutely hate the thoughtless discrimination that is accepted as the norm.
Though there isn’t much I can say to change how it is, I am constantly thinking in my head: “I’m not a zoo animal, I’m a person just like you. And just because I am white, doesn’t mean I should be treated differently, for better or for worst.”