Dear white people, stop staring at me at work

The Ordinary Man
3 min readJan 23

Hey white people, it’s a black gut here who works in corporate Britain. I know you’re not used to being around black people for extended periods of time, so everything you know about us is fiction you’ve seen on the TV and the internet.

But even though that’s the case, stop staring at me all day.

I see you, you’re gawking, it’s not sly, it’s like you’ve seen an alien. It must be seriously cutting into your productivity.

I don’t know why they’re staring

When someone is staring at you, it could be for a number of reasons.

  • It could be because you’re the first black person they’ve seen.
  • Because they don’t like black people and they’re intimidated.
  • It could be because you’re new.
  • Because you’re wearing something that they deem unusual.
  • Because they’ve seen an opportunity to make a new black friend they can post about on black history month.
  • They could think you’re good-looking.
  • They may think you’re ugly.
  • Or something else.

The thing is, we don’t know why you’re staring from our position. So it could be something innocent, but when it keeps happening, it feels race related.

It’s a guaranteed way to make someone feel uncomfortable

Staring, no matter the reason makes people feel uncomfortable. You feel like you’ve done something wrong or entered the wrong neighbourhood.

I don’t want to speak to people that are gawking at me unless they’re beautiful women, and there are none in the British corporate world. I have looked extensively.

Why are you looking over your shoulder as you go past? It’s creepy and makes me feel like I’m in the Get Out.

It’s not like I can blend in either. Even if I dress and act like everyone else, I’m still black in a sea of white.

I don’t get it

I never understand people who stare at people of races they’re not used to. I know that it’s new and unusual, but we’re not animals at the zoo.