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ESSENCE Poll: Do Racial Stereotypes Keep You From Doing Certain Things?

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“Damn man. This is a wake up call like a mofo. Heavy D was a good friend & he’ll be missed. Night I met him is funniest story ever.”

The Roots drummer Ahmir "Questlove" Thompson recently wrote about the lessons he learned from the killing of Trayvon Martin and George Zimmerman's acquittal. "You ain't sh-t. That's the lesson I took from this case," he writes. "Those words are deep ’cause these are words I heard my whole life.”

Thompson goes on to detail how despite his celebrity, he repeatedly experiences the crushing reality of racism. "I can't tell you how many times a year I'm in a serious situation, only to hear the magic words "Oh, wait … Questlove?" Hey guys, it's Questlove. "We're so sorry, you can go!"

He goes on to touch on how racial stereotypes have stopped him from wanting to be in certain spaces because he didn't want to be the "odd guy out" or "rock the boat," and make "certain people feel uncomfortable."

"This is the prime reason I hate vacations. I don't feel like being the "odd guy out" at vacation spots."

The idea that you have to avoid certain places (raise your hand if it's certain department stores, restaurants, gyms, the list goes on) because you don't want to be the odd Black girl or guy is one familiar to many of us. And how about worrying about making other people uncomfortable with your presence? Check. Can you relate to Questlove's experience? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

QUESTION:
What do racial stereotypes keep you from doing?
Traveling to certain cities/ countries
28%
Shopping in certain stores
30%
Going to certain restaurants
7%
Considering neighborhoods to live in
26%
Applying to certain schools for my children
9%
Total votes: 191