Dear White People: All Black People Do Not Look Alike

Dear white people: All black people do not, in fact, look alike.

Take me for instance, I have a twin brother who – apart from waist-length dreadlocks – I look LITERALLY nothing like. There are, a couple of people that happen to look quite a bit like me (or me like them, as it were). One would be my mom’s brother and his 21 year-old son. Understand, though, that they happen to be blood relation on the side of the family that I DO happen to favor. Another is my 1 year-old daughter, who looks more like me every day as she transitions out of the “which parent does she look like” stage. I guess I vaguely favor my mom and sister as well.

The person(s) I do NOT look like, though, is every skinny dreadlocked goon who makes the local newspaper over a B&E, assault, robbery or drug charge. The fact that you could not be bothered with looking beyond brown skin and similarities in hair before jumping to “look, this guy in the paper looks just like Phillip!” is precisely why I make a specific point of making you so uncomfortable that you have to explain it off “I was just kidding” for fear that I might take a chance at becoming that goon in the newspaper.
Sadly, you never learn…

A common occurrence in the lives of most black folk I have come across is being approached by a random white person in public with a statement of “oh wow, you look just like [random person you don’t know and probably look nothing like],” or something like “wow, anyone ever tell you that you look just like [public figure you look nothing like]?”

These occurrences are literally never flattering, and 13 times out of 10 come across as patronizing and insulting.

All black folk do not look alike, please stop it.