When the Only Thing You Have Going is Being White

What Are You Besides Your Skin Color?

William Spivey
4 min readJul 12

Art Art Vandelay, CC BY-SA 4.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0>, via Wikimedia Commons

In the first Avengers movie, Steve Rogers and Tony Stark have a verbal altercation.

Steve said, “Big man in a suit of armor, take that off; what are you?”

Tony replied, “ Genius, billionaire, playboy, philanthropist!”

Tony Stark might have been an arrogant egomaniac, but he had some things going on in his life besides the suit he wore on the outside.

I was an athlete in high school and college. It wasn’t unusual for athletes to be stereotyped and placed in a category as if we couldn’t also be scholars, poets, and successful in other areas of their lives. Unfortunately, some athletes only saw themselves in terms of their athletic accomplishments. Even professional athletes often struggle when their careers ens as they eventually must. They have to discover what they are besides the thing they were always known for.

In every segment of society, a hierarchy forms where people can rise to the top of their environment. Some people distinguish themselves in the worst of environments, creating metrics that may have no value elsewhere. In the worst slum, there are pimps, drug dealers, educators, athletes, gamblers, and musicians. People use their talents to achieve success, whether it be making money or finding some measurable yardstick that makes them better than someone else.

Some people are their careers or claim status for the company they work for. I’ve worked for major corporations, including Procter & Gamble and AT&T. I’ve seen my co-workers proudly announce where they work when asked; I’ve done it myself. People get proud of their income level, what kind of car they drive, or the house they live in. Do you rent or own?

It’s human nature to find something about yourself that you’re proud of. Many have several things; everyone isn’t Tony Stark, but most people could come up with a list of accomplishments and things they value about themselves…

William Spivey

I write about politics, history, education, and race. Follow me at williamfspivey.com and support me at https://ko-fi.com/williamfspivey0680