I have a question that events and conversations over the past few years have created. I will not recount these conversations or the people involved because that would take more time than I want to spend, nor do I think it’d be fair to the participants, either (even if I were to disguise them like I do with every story that appears here). Suffice it to say, I’ve sat back and merely observed these conversations, watching what was going on around me. I have not come to any conclusions, so I suppose you could say this post is a mental exercise to try and at least come close to placing my finger upon something firmer than I currently have in my head. What I’m searching and have formed a hypothesis for is the answer to the following question: At what point do we quantify individuals, determining there has been a certain juncture where they merit or acquire a fixed label that solidifies them for the rest of their lives? Read More


I have a friend (I’ll call her Becky) that got married a few weeks ago, and Sally and I went to the wedding. I’m sure Becky’s been the subject of scorn and derision many times throughout her life because of one certain effortless talent and ability she possesses: She can tan. I don’t just mean, “Oh, your skin went from a shade of ivory to a refined taupe.” Becky gets straight-up dark. Such is the envy of many a pale white girl. At one point during the newlyweds’ first dance, Becky had her back turned to where Sally and I were standing, and her dress showed her upper back. The wedding was earlier this month, so by that point Becky had already begun her summer sojourn into epidermal darkness, and as they were dancing, I jokingly turned to Sally and said, “You know, if I didn’t know any better I would think this was an interracial marriage.” And we all had a good laugh about that, but in the days that have followed I keep wondering (and keep being unable to answer) this: For people who are racist, at what point is skin too dark? Because, see, Becky is white—a.k.a. Caucasian—but she’s not white—pasty. Read More