Random White People

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWhen I lived in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, my friend Kathy and I often drank coffee in the late afternoon.  She and I would sit in a cafe. We loved watching the passersby as much as the conversation.

One of our favorite games was something we called RWP. Random white people (RWP) would sometimes pass by in the sea of brown faces. We tried to guess their nationality, and their motive for walking around in the murder capital of the world. Tegucigalpa has approximately 1 million inhabitants, but between the two of us, we knew just about every white person by name. Therefore, RWPs were a novelty.

I thought about the white people we would spot occasionally. Did they feel like they were being watched? Did they feel out of place? Were they going through culture shock in the poor, noisy, violent city of Tegucigalpa?

Now, I am living in a sea of white faces. My little community on the north shore across from New Orleans is blindingly white. The Latinos, the blacks, and the Vietnamese have their own communities, markets, restaurants, and churches in the city. Here, it’s rare to see color.

So, what are we, as random white people in large aggregates in my town, doing for the minorities in our midst? I have no idea, actually. I hope to meet more random black, brown, and Asian faces in this community.

Aside from tutoring white prep kids in Spanish, my plan is to tutor Latin kids in English skills. They are here, but they are just not as prominent as the big cities, such as New Orleans, Miami, or Houston. Everyone needs a friend who doesn’t stare because your skin is a different color, and your accent is funny.

2 thoughts on “Random White People

  1. When I read the title, I had no idea where you were going with this! It is strange to think that in this day & age, there are still communities who are, in a sense, still segregated. I see it in the Small Town, too.


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