“FAT NIGGER!” … that’s what I was called today.

29 Oct

By whom? I don’t know.

It was random.

It came from a stranger.

And I’m yet to decide how I truly feel about it.

Initially, I had no reaction. I was walking around during my lunch break and as I was waiting on the sidewalk for my turn to cross the street, a passerby yelled it from a car.

I didn’t look up. I didn’t even flinch. A part of it was because it took a minute to register what they said. The other was because I’ve learned—or I’m trying to learn, I should say—to school my initial reactions to people. I’m the one who talks back. The person who’s quick to roll their eyes at a comment without realizing it, or have a sarcastic reply.

Yet, in this situation, I felt nothing. No desire to retort. I was completely numb. 

For about five minutes.

When I walked back into work, my hand was shaking slightly as it all settled in. And when I told everyone what just happened, in the midst of their anger, the first thing I said was, “I’m not even that fat!”

I don’t know where that came from, but it truly didn’t even come from a place of trying to be funny.

And I still can’t figure out why the fat part of the comment bothered me more.

I mean, I know I’m black. I’ve been black since the day I was born. Because of that, I know there are people who will automatically dislike me.

They will quickly judge and decide that I’m not good enough.

That I’m not educated.

Or I’m ghetto.

Is it okay? No, of course not. But it is what it is.

Every day, all around us, there are reminders of how long we’ve come as a society coupled with instances of how much longer we have to go.

I’m not blind to the ignorance of the world.

I haven’t been since the second grade when a kid called me a ‘Negro’ but didn’t get in trouble no matter how much he hurt my feelings.

I haven’t been blind to it since earlier years when people would tell me I “sound like a white girl.” 

And I wasn’t blind to it today, when I was minding my business and had to be reminded that—by societies standards—I’m not only FAT but I’m a NIGGER.

I’m not as angry as some are or would be. In part, I’m actually kind of thankful it was said to me. I know had it been said to some others, they wouldn’t have been able to handle it. Going on with their day as if it never happened wouldn’t be an option.

It would have turned them cold, maybe even bitter.

Thankfully, that’s not going to happen here because I know I can’t change the way ignorant people think.

Today was one of the first times I’ve realized, truly, that my skin color doesn’t define me.

It’s not what they call you—it’s what you answer to.

I’ve never been slim. So yes, I might be fat.

But a nigger I am not.

I’m a strong black woman.      

And that’s okay!

Maybe one day it will be okay with everyone, too!

 NoHate

6 Responses to ““FAT NIGGER!” … that’s what I was called today.”

  1. sparkledamnuElaine October 30, 2013 at 7:25 PM #

    Wow, I learned several things about you today. Most important to me is that you have a truly stong will and a very loving heart!!!! I’m a 63 year old “fat” woman from the hills of north Georgia. While it might not be what I’d like it to be, it is what it is and I am what I am!!! Your response made me think of they way I taught my son (who’s ADD, has a delayed speech pattern and a gaiting problem) to feel about those who would make fun of him growing up. I taught him that it doesn’t matter what color, sex, shape or size you see, it’s what’s inside that makes the person who they are. Thank you for posting this. I feel the need to apologize for the individual. We are all people and need to learn respect and maintain civility. 😀

  2. Fandom Fanatic (@credoroza) October 30, 2013 at 7:01 AM #

    It’s a shame that ignorance is still so rampart and willing to expose themselves like this. Excellent post. Truly shows your ability to rise above the stupidity and be the better person regardless of your surroundings and not stooping to their level.

  3. blackagurl October 30, 2013 at 2:47 AM #

    No other words but I agree

  4. Kimberly Taylor October 29, 2013 at 9:45 PM #

    Like they say “You can’t fix stupid”. As a mother of two daughters I can only pray that I have raised them right and nothing like that would ever come out of their mouths. Ignorance is here and as sad as I am to say this.. it probably will never change, but again as a mom I would hope that by some chance the children of today are taught with respect for everyone no matter their weight, race, religion or how much money is in the bank. Love you Lory.

    ~Kimberly Taylor

  5. Trisha Forrest October 29, 2013 at 8:53 PM #

    Lolo, thank you for sharing that truly unfortunate situation. I am a big, old southern gal from VA, and understand how you feel while being called Fat but there is a difference between you and I, other than age, as I am white. Being from the South there are a lot of big gals but that doesn’t stop bullying, name calling and hateful behavior, and I have experienced all of those in 50 years. However, I have not in the past or will ever in the future allow that indifference stop me from being who I am, a kind, friendly person loving all of God’s creatures. I can not ever be able to truly understand what you have gone through in your life regarding your skin color, but that should never, ever change who you really are which is one of God’s creatures just the same as all other humans. I never knew your skin color until recently when you posted your picture on FB, and to be honest it never occurred to me to care one way or the other as you are an amazing writer and a beautiful person. I applaud you for your resilience and tenacity, never change who you are sweetie!!!

  6. mzpeaches74 October 29, 2013 at 8:45 PM #

    Is is wrong that am appalled and ashamed of the ignorance of the many in my own “race” that would feel entitled to say something so demeaning? It sickens me that there are still people who cannot see beyond the color of a person’s skin. And it saddens me that their inability to see someone else as a human being with feelings has hurt someone I consider a friend.
    As to the fat? That sucks. I COMPLETELY identify. I know I’m not skinny. Hell, I’m still “fat” after having surgery 6 years ago. Not like I was… But it amazes me that I can feel so much better about me for a minute, as I weigh like 100Lbs less now than before that, and it can be stripped so easily when someone decides that I don’t look like I “should.” I’m at the point where I’ve finally figured out that if God wanted us all to look the same, we would. If being fat was a completely controllable issue, it would have bred itself out eons ago.
    I’ve seen your picture. You are beautiful. Don’t let the haters bring you down… Your smile is far too lovely. Don’t let them snuff out your light!
    *hugz*
    Peaches

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