They Never Even Acknowledged Her Presence


I am a white woman who lives and works in a white community. I took a Black client to a store so she could cash a check and get a few items. She thought the customer service rep was rude and racist. I had her observe that this woman actually treated all of the customers in the same manner, so in that moment, my client learned that just because someone is unpleasant doesn't necessarily mean they are racist or are singling her out.

She felt very good about that until we came across several people we both were acquainted with. It was me who they made eye contact with and greeted. They didn't even acknowledge her presence. I could just "feel" her saying, "See? I told you so."

That single moment validated everything she had ever said about the racism she and her family have experienced. I have never said anything to the people we met up with at the store, but I've always felt I should.

I now have the courage to speak up!

— KL

Sign up for topical updates and invitations to participate with Dr. Zur