I was pretty much done with this one. I can’t read her mind to know if “feminine charm” was the goal here. I do think people need to be more conscious of their surroundings before they say something that holds this kind of weight though. Case and point, I recall being in college and complaining to an instructor about something I didn’t agree with on our lesson plan. I said, “You’d have to be blind to not know [insert complaint here].” This comment would’ve felt very innocent — however, I completely forgot that there was a couple who were indeed blind in the front row. Once I remembered they were there, I wanted to melt and slide out of the room.

Read the room first. Understand the weight of the comment you make and who will hear it. Then proceed accordingly. Asking white people general questions about voting just doesn’t hold the same depth as it does asking black people (considering slavery, Jim Crow, Civil Rights Movement, etc.) — and if this was a black woman, it would’ve been a double-edged sword considering black men could vote before women of any race could. I stand by what I said. I’m black. You’re not. You may never understand where I’m coming from. We can agree to disagree.

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Check out her five Medium publications: Doggone World, Homegrown, I Do See Color, Tickled and We Need to Talk. Visit Shamontiel.com to read about her.

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