Hip hop artists Ryan Lewis and Macklemore: two white people.
Hip hop artists Ryan Lewis and Macklemore: two white people. Bang ShowBiz

What's it like being white? Question earns 10,000 answers

WHAT'S it like being white?

It was the question posed on self-proclaimed internet front page of Reddit overnight, earning more than 10,000 responses and 2500 on-site endorsements in less than eight hours.

The Reddit user 'snek0kidFTW' gives no hint of their own skin colour or why they are asking.

It might not seem an easy question to answer, but plenty gave it a go.



QUESTION: What's like being white?



There's a lack of identity associated with it. I don't think of myself as white any more than I think of myself as blue-eyed. It's a feature, not part of who I am. 

There's no real struggle to empathize with, no real connection to other white people based just on being white. At least not that I've experienced, so it's just a non-thing. A checkbox on a form and nothing else.

Hell, it's less of an identity thing than hairstyle, at least for me.

As for day-to-day life, it's honestly hard to consider, since I've never not been white.

I guess I'm not worried about going 10 over the speed limit, since I'm no more likely to be pulled over than anyone else. Is that a concern for minority drivers? I honestly don't know.



It's a lot of work reflecting so much light, but I manage.


The thing about being white is that you don't notice it unless you're in a situation in which white people are a decided minority, which is unusual, at least where I live (the US). 

You don't think about being white, and it's not a salient part of your identity because you almost never get singled out by other members of society based on your race.

I got a fleeting chance to experience the flip-side of this the other day; I currently live in a majority-minority, low-income neighborhood, and I was walking through it when a woman came up to me and asked me if I was lost.

She assumed based on no information other than the color of my skin, that I didn't belong there.

That was a highly unusual experience for me, and I can only imagine what it's like to have to deal with that kind of snap judgment every day.



I sunburn easily.


I always worry about coming across as racist.

Example: Walking to a corner store in the winter. Walking on the right hand sidewalk even though the store is across the street, because only one sidewalk is plowed. 

Figure I'll cross once I get close enough to the store. I'm a small, white, blonde woman.

Notice a 6 foot tall black man walking towards me. Do some quick calculations and realize that crossing where I intended would make me cross the road aprox. 

30 feet before he and I would have crossed paths. Worried about hurting the guy's feelings, making him think I was avoiding him, so I walked PAST him, then doubled back to go to the store.

Then felt guilty because I wouldn't have done that if the guy had been white. So yeah, lose-lose in my mind.

Response to kupo_moogle from GBOY_z: 
If it makes you feel better, as a tall black guy I feel really weird when I'm walking behind a white girl going in the same direction, but it seems like I'm following her.

Sometimes I'll just stand in place and check my phone to let her know I'm not a stalker, then resume walking once she's a good distance away.



It is pretty cool but sometimes i wish i was a flashier color like red or purple but i am not to upset about it.