Los Angeles is a fascinating place to live for its diversity of peoples. In the shopping mall, on the Santa Monica pier, the Venice Beach boardwalk (above photo), and other public spaces, I blend in with the crowd. I am at home amidst the range of skin color pigments and English-speaking accents.
In spite of our rich cultural diversity, racism, misogyny, and xenophobia still circulate beneath our thin skin. At a local coffee shop, I’ve had to wait much longer for my coffee than my white companion. At a writers’ meeting, a white female club member told me not to touch her. “It’s offensive,” she said with an angry tone.
On a sunny, windy, Sunday morning in Santa Monica, someone in a passing vehicle threw water in my face as I crossed the busy boulevard. Was it the color of my skin that the stranger considered offensive or was it the colorful Indian print dress and shawl I was wearing? I’ll never know. Continue reading