As a person of colour, the ‘ghetto dude’ affair hits home in a very personal manner. Even though I grew up in a small Huron County farming community, surrounded by rednecks and hackers (all nearly uniform-white), my complexion automatically marks me as ‘other’.
Throughout my life these and other backhanded compliments have been tossed my way, like crumbs brushed off the table of white privilege. I’ve been called ‘nigger’, constantly questioned about my background (‘no, I mean, where are you from originally?’) , forced to listen as blissfully oblivious (white) friends go on about the various endemic evils of black folks (‘but not you, Matt – you’re different!‘)
But so far I’ve been fortunate enough to have avoided scenarios like the one Evon Reid found himself pulled into – as far as I’m aware, that is. Incidents like this make me seriously wonder just how many prospective employers were negatively influenced by my ethnicity. The racism of Aileen Siu was only exposed by her carelessness. If not for an errant CC, none of us, especially Evon Reid, would have known of Siu’s apparent bias.
Myself and countless others could have been–have likely been–the ‘ghetto dude’ already, without even knowing.