Moving to Dallas has been both good and bad for me. When I first got down here, I didn’t know what to expect. I’d heard stories about virulent Dallas antiblack racism and wasn’t sure whether I’d see microaggressions and insensitivity, or if the warnings were simply overblown.
I haven’t met enough people down here to know exactly what the picture is, but I can say for a fact that both black and white Dallas-ites seem to despise me on sight. The number of people who sneer at me on the sidewalk, stare stonily at me in retail stores, and icily rebuff me in social situations are legion. In this sense, the “racism” is much worse than it was in New York City.
However, it’s refreshing to see people being open about their feelings. It’s nothing new to see blacks and whites united in their contempt for biracial people. That’s been the case for a while now. And nobody has ever been reticent about owning the fact that they find my misshapen flab, soft frizzy hair, and disjointed features repugnant.
I’m just relieved that people tell me how they feel to my face. In New York, I always assumed that my freethinking nature, lit nerd accent, and marks of isolation were the problem. In Dallas, it’s become obvious that I’m just different, and that this is the root of my problem.