No, That’s the Other Black Guy

by Seattle Washington

Pssst.  Hey.  Yeah you.  Come here, I have something to tell you.  Y’know when you get me confused for the other Black guy in the office?  It really pisses me off.  I know, I know.  We all look alike.  Trust me, I’ve heard many of Black folk say the same thing about you.  But really, c’mon now there’s a handful of Black guys in an office of hundreds of people.  Sh*t, I’m the only one in this department.  Matter of fact, you probably see more Black people walking past the security desk in the lobby than you do walking in the hallways.  So how can you not keep us straight?

My face may remain stoic when you say “Hey Portland?  How are things?” but in my mind it goes a little something like this.  Mutha fucka, I’m Seattle.  Portland is five inches shorter than me and works in a different department.  I’m Six Foot Sexy.  Do you not see me and my tall ass walking around the hallway?  Just off height alone, how can you get us confused?  Not to mention we have different personalities, different jobs and rock different gear.  We sit on different floors man.  Furthermore there’s only a handful of us at this job, you mean you can’t keep us straight?  That’s some sad sh*t homie.  That’s beyond ignorant; it’s disrespectful.  

You may have noticed a change in how I talk to you too.  I know, I know before I used to tactfully correct you and giddily watch your face become red with embarrassment.  Now, I’ve gotten to a point where I’ll happily correct you and add in a touch of signature Seattle cynicism.  So when you say, “Hey Portland.”  I just respond, “No, that’s the other Black guy.  I’m Seattle.”  And I’m off before your jaw can hit the floor.  Call it tough love.

Y’know I read that when you’re not exposed to different races, the unique facial features, hair texture, and overall appearance that other races have will all seem the same for you.  I understand that you might have grown up in an area where everyone looked like you.  I don’t hold that against you.  But damn, you work with me everyday.  You mean, you still can’t get my homeboy and I straight?  Look around, it doesn’t take a genius to realize this is a very homogenous industry, but I seem remember your names.  And we have hundreds co-workers.  Even if I don’t know your name, I know you’re not the same person as Steve around the corner.

So please, get your sh*t straight.  We’re different.  Yes, different.  Black people do not come off an assembly line.  If you can remember the names of all the Black players on your local football team, their stats, and schools they went to, I think you can remember me and a couple other Black guys in the office.  Think of it as a starting line up and the sixth man.  Or maybe I should just get Washington printed on the back of every shirt I wear.  Seems like that’s the only time you can remember a specific Black person.  Well, that and if I ended up on the 10 o’clock news.

That Black Guy in the Office,

Seattle  Six Foot Sexy  Washington

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17 responses to “No, That’s the Other Black Guy

  1. I think you should legally change your name to Six Food Sexy…:) Anyways, yep my whole life I have looked like somebody’s cousin, sister, wife or friend. I don’t know why…most recently though I had a white man tell me I look just like his daughter. He opened his phone and well…I did. But I was like did you really just say this to me? Oh well…I guess not only do I have to worry about looking like the black chick from Tacoma but the white chick from Wasilla. Ah it’s just too damned much. I wonder what would would happen if we declared they all look like? I am going to start that today, right now.

  2. RightCoastLexSteele

    I’ll probably have more to say later…but.
    Six Foot Sexy? That my friend, is gangster.

    **Got my stunna shades on and doing my cocky point to the sky!!**

  3. I am as ignorant and disrespectful as they come, i think all asians look alike and most hacidic jews and most white females unless they bad of course

  4. Seattle Washington

    … walking away s l o w l y …

  5. RightCoastLexSteele

    I just choked on my water…

  6. And I just let out a boisterous laugh that permeated throughout the office…

    At my PWI, there were about four black females in the same specialized program. Our program was a specialty school, so we had smaller classes and closer relationships to Faculty. Even still, we were all called by each others name, but hardly by our own. I’m brown-skinned caramel sexy with little-to-no hair, so when I was called by the name of my light bright, long-haired, half-Asian friend, that was my last straw. I replied, “No sir, that’s the other Black girl.” Needless to say his jaw dropped.

    You know what, though, I mix the others up all the time. How can we not? They wear the same type clothes, get the same highlights and expect us to know the difference.

  7. “I am as ignorant and disrespectful as they come, i think all asians look alike and most hacidic jews and most white females unless they bad of course”

    Yeah, I’d have to say that is pretty ignorant and disrespectful. I’m going to slowly close my lap top now and drink a scotch on the rocks in the middle of the day.

  8. Sowhatiff Jenkins

    Now now everyone, lets be respectful here. This is a classy blog.

  9. Seattle Washington

    … and now back to our regular scheduled comments… keep it clean folks…

  10. Wow Peyso…lol, hey as a 6’6 light skin dude. I wish i had come up wih the “six foot sexy” title (lol) good job Seattle! We don’t all look the same. But some people swear we do. I get all the don’t play a proffesional sport. Of course i oblige when it gets me a better airplane seat. Which happened 2 weeks ago, or better treatment from a hotel staffer cause i looked like someone when i went on vacation.I can’t call it.

  11. I was very, very guilty of mixing up some my Asian acquaintances during college at least several times. *Hides face in shame* No, I don’t all think they look the same. It was jus that sometimes I was too busy rocking to my I-pod in my own world while walking around campus.

  12. So many typos… I never see them until after I click “Submit”. It would be nice if there was an editor thingy.

  13. To be quite honest, I do that with my own people. I don’t think it’s so much of a race thing, but more so that some features amongst ethnicities are common.

    Sometimes the similarities aren’t physical features at all. Whenever I call for any type of tech support and my call is transfered overseas, someone by the name “Harry” or “Mike” answers the phone. I then find myself saying, “What’s your REAL name?” I get a little resistance and then they finally say, “My name is Harish, I’m _____ type of Indian, from _____ part of India, working at a call center.” I KNEW IT!

    Regardless of the accent, I just have a sense for that Indian “swag” (for lack of a more accurate and politically correct word).

    Furthermore when Indian friend’s of mine call, they sound the same to me for a while before I can differentiate between them. That goes for the ones born and raised here in the US of A.

    We’re all a little prejudice; I think distinguishing one’s ignorant classification from genuine confusion is by analyzing the intent with which one handles his/her interracial experiences–which usually becomes evident through everyday routine.

  14. I’m just awful with names all around. I don’t discriminate.lol. In the office it’s “hey man!” or “hey buddy” for the dudes, and “hey there you!” to the women. They can’t get my name wrong. I’m the only pigmented fellow there…

  15. I have never been mixed up with anyone because I just stand out too much but I feel you on the numbers argument. When I was in graduate school at my first PWI, I was on student government therefore my entire class knew who I was by day 2, but it took me forever to remember who they all were, I made it through the first semester by referring to everyone (male and female) as hun. Whenever one of them was upset I didn’t know their name, or couldn’t remember their face they would say but I remember your name how could you forget me? I would always reply I am 1 of the 20, you are 1 of 220, I should hope you can remember me. So I feel the numbers argument Seattle, if there are only a couple of yall they should be able to at least distinguish yall on your looks if they cant bother to remember your individual names or cities of origin…

  16. Vanessa aka Miss V

    i also confuse names quite often… no matter what race!

    but i do hate when I get called my black co-worker’s/classmate’s/friend’s name, esp when we look totally different!

    I’m going to start saying, “No, thats the other black girl” too!

  17. I work in HR so I basically have to remember their names since I hired them. I will admit a few have slipped my mind when they come into the office but I typically will remember what division they work for.

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