Isabelle was a senior in high school walking through the parking lot with a friend, a young black woman. A pickup truck with a confederate flag in the back drove past them, full of white boys, one of whom hung out the window and catcalled the girls, yelling “yaaaaaa I loooove exotic girls!” I told her she should have yelled back “sorry, I like intelligent boys.” She said she was too afraid to respond. Now I worry that she’s unsafe at school.

2014 Puerto Vallarta, Mexico


My speaking out about these things is seen as powerful and poignant; I am heralded for my bravery and for what I have endured (which isn’t much). People call me strong and send messages of love. My black peers are seen as inflaming and biased. Their stories are picked apart as if by vultures picking apart the bloody meat of roadkill; trying to find the inaccuracies, the biases, the double standards, any tiny little inconsistency, asking “but what about….” as if to debunk their experiences. They receive cynicism, scorn, even death threats. They’re told to be quiet, to be polite, to be patient, not angry.

Originally posted June 2020 on