Paragraph of the Day
It comes from Nicholas Kristof in today’s New York Times on white Americans’ misconceptions about race:
One black friend tells me that he freaked out when his white fiancée purchased an item in a store and promptly threw the receipt away. “What are you doing?” he protested to her. He is a highly successful and well-educated professional but would never dream of tossing a receipt for fear of being accused of shoplifting.
I’ve never thought twice about throwing a receipt away (for something I wouldn’t consider returning at least). Before Kristof’s column, I thought that was common practice among all Americans—white, black, green, whatever. Now, I know otherwise. The fact that I don’t fear throwing receipts away—and the fact that I didn’t know that black people do fear that—is the definition of white privilege in America.