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July 18, 2008

This past weekend I spent 3 days on a beach in Japan for an annual music festival. I had a wonderful time. I was drinking and laughing and frolicking in the sea. But a few things irked me.

Some guy walked over to me and was like, “Porsche? Hey Porsche?” I rudely responded with, “My names not Porsche”. Then he said, “You look like this girl, yadda, yadda, yadda….” I cut him off with, “Well, all black girls aren’t named after cars!”

Then he said, “I didn’t mean it like that.” And deep down inside. I knew he didn’t. But I was upset because I was acquainted with the woman he confused me with. Not personally, mind you, but I saw her around the festival. She’s a black girl, slimmer than I am, with dreadlocks that she kept wrapped in a bun at the nape of her neck. Well, lo and behold…I have dreadlocks and mine were styled the same way. So it’s easy to glance at someone and think…oh, that’s…so and so. It’s true. But I realize…I wasn’t upset with him. I was upset with her.

I’m tired of the “I’m going to pretend like you don’t exist syndrome!” See, this is the deal. I always thought that there was an unwritten rule that black people say hello. You don’t have to like me or be my friend, but you say hello. This hello is just a head nod. A way of saying, I see you. But ever since I was in university, I’ve learned that this ain’t true.

The problem is this idea that we are all in the same boat doesn’t resonate with people nowadays. Don’t get me wrong! I don’t think all blacks have to think alike, or like the same music, or have the same friends, but if we are in a gathering and we are the only four minorities. Why can’t we acknowledge it with hello? I mean really. Why play like we don’t see each other? Why put up a wall between us? Why?

Because at the end of the day, even though my name ain’t Porsche, I’m still lumped in the same category.

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