Racism Can Still Surprise You
Where’s the line between trust and self-protection?
Even when you know it exists, racism can still surprise you. I've experienced racism in many contexts, but I’ve experienced less (sadly, not none) since I moved to Barbados and started working online for American and British companies.
But while being online reduces the instances of racism from the day to day work experience, they don't eliminate them altogether. And what I've realized is that when they do occur they can still take you by surprise.
When you are experiencing microaggressions and racism every day, you learn to protect yourself. You can't react to every single one for fear of falling into stereotypes, and so you arm yourself with a shell of protection. It's not perfect, but it’s something.
But when you're not experiencing them daily, that shell is softer and easier to crack. It's easier to get hurt.
A couple of months ago, an online interaction reminded me of this.