No. It can’t. But Amber Ruffin gets dangerously close…
You’ll Never Believe What Happened to Lacey: Crazy Stories about Racism by Amber Ruffin and Lacey Lamarr
I adore Amber Ruffin. I want to be her friend. She is hilarious; her skits on The Late Show with Seth Myers are perfection and her episodes of Drunk History are pure serotonin. She could have published her grocery list and I would have rushed to read it but instead she published this hilarious memoir with her sister who is constantly racially profiled and harassed. As the title suggests this is really Lacey’s story but Amber’s name is probably what helped get it published and Amber’s “joy” (I listened to the audio book- for some passages there is no better descriptor than joy) in her sister’s constant harassment brings levity to a dark subject.
As a Casper-white woman living in the South I am undeniably privileged: no one ever wonders if I should or should not be somewhere, if I am qualified for my job or if I am going to steal something when I walk into a store- hell I probably could steal something and no one would even notice. Unfortunately for poor Lacey, who lives in Omaha, Nebraska, she is a lightening rod for racism at work, while shopping, doctor’s visits- even getting a donut! While Amber and Lacey have given us permission to laugh at the pain Lacey experiences on a constant basis it is still a reminder that being a Black person in America is no laughing matter.
Amber: I’m not saying a person can “look” racist, but Lacey is. She said that. Can you believe her?
Lacey: I said that. It’s like, you know how women know when a man is scary? It’s like a lifetime of survival skills kick in and you get a bit of a spidey sense about some situations? Well, I’ve been in approximately a billion racist situations. So I know. From the “Black people have dumb names” kind of racists to the “only ever talk to you about music” type of racists. My spidey sense is strong. Now, I can’t tell when everyone’s racist, but when I think someone’s a racist, they are. And I’m saying these people were racist.
Lacey’s story is just one example what it is like to exist as a Black woman in America and while she has written a lighthearted memoir about these experiences there is still a lot you can learn about how to be a better ally (even if you just make a mental note to do the opposite of everyone in this book) within these pages.
Done with the last of my February reviews! Maybe I’ll get March done before August…