Saturday, December 03, 2005

We all look alike. Right?

Boston - Heading up the escalator at the convention center here, a man stopped me.

"I just wanted to introduce myself. I saw your picture on the program guide."

"You did?"

"Yes."

"Oh. Why is my picture in the program guide? How did they get my picture?"

Realizing where this was going, the man got quiet, and turned somewhat red.

"Oh, I'm sorry. I thought you were someone else."

"Ah, ok. No problem."

"Here, let me show you who I thought you were."

He opened the conference guide and pointed out one of the speakers, a black gentlemen much older, much darker skin and full beard. The man laughed.

"Ha ha. I thought you were this guy, but without the beard."

"I suppose."

"What's your name, again?"

Clueless. Just clueless. Why do white people insist that all black people look alike? I didn't look anything like this guy, and he saw a well-dressed black man at a conference, and thought it must have been the same guy. This has happened to me dozens of times. For the first two years of my current job, my coworkers kept getting me mixed up with two other black men in our office. And none of us looked anything alike. Then, when they were corrected - "No, I'm ANDREW, not ERIC" - they didn't act like it was a big deal.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Totally insensitive, I agree. People are clueless. One thing, though. I get it too. People always mistake me for someone else or say I look exactly like so and so. But I'm white. People of all backgrounds do this--both to other ethnic groups and with them.

Just something to consider.

Anonymous said...

Totally insensitive, I agree. People are clueless. One thing, though. I get it too. People always mistake me for someone else or say I look exactly like so and so. But I'm white. People of all backgrounds do this--both to other ethnic groups and within them.

Just something to consider.

KLC said...

Oh HELL no. How about a few weeks ago, one of my colleagues said she kept getting confused for me by others we worked with. She is about 21 years older than me nd outweighs me by about 80 pounds.

*Madosi said...

i am not going to lie, there have been times when i have mistaken folk for someone else, black, white otherwise and then later i was like, damn they look nothing alike!

LOL

jameil1922 said...

After seeing the Color Purple I was mistaken for the lead. Would she come out at the same time as everyone else less than 20 minutes after the end of the show? It takes more time to get out of hair and make-up, let alone get all your stuff together and leave, and most likely, not out of the front door!!! And she had the nerve to give ME the stank look when I asked why she wanted my autograph. Bitches.