Carmen Weatherbee / by Michael Falco

Who is Carmen Weatherbee?

Carmen Weatherbee was born and raised in a suburb of Lansing, Michigan. She is the owner of a small, vintage antique store in Marshall. Carmen is a single mother of two boys. 

Excerpt from interview with Carmen Weatherbee by Whitney Dow, 2017

Q: Do you think that you dad would agree with you that you had a benefit to being white?

Weatherbee: [12:46:30] I’m not sure if my dad would agree with me if he had benefits being white. It’s almost like he sees black people like second, like not even people, which is just disgusting for it to come out of my mouth. It’s just terrible. He doesn’t see that there’s benefit. I don’t even want to say what he has said because it’s just so disturbing to me. Having it leave my lips and going on film makes me feel like it spreads hate, but he doesn’t see most black people as human. He doesn’t see him being white as being a state of privilege, or anything like that, because they’re lower than human. Sorry. Oh, I hate saying that. It’s an awful thing to say, even if it’s not my belief, it’s something I know that’s out there.

Q: People always say racism is hereditary. What is it about you or your experience that you can grow up in a household that was filled with overt racism, and still have a relationship where you love your father and all that stuff? What made you change your views, or what made you not develop those views and eventually develop your own set of views of the world?

Weatherbee: [12:47:58] Growing up, obviously, I was inundated with this mindset. I think very, very young I was always slightly rebellious. Thankfully, that is the thing that I took away; I don’t want to be like my dad. I didn’t want to be like my mom. I didn’t want to be like my dad, so that led me to no drugs, no smoking and luckily, not being a racist. Yay! [laughs] I think that my rebellion attitude has always carried me into something a little bit better than – I said better— that’s not good. I mean, I definitely feel like I have a better attitude about the world than thinking everybody’s going to kill me. I think the rebellion is the biggest part of the reason why I didn’t carry that belief with me.

Interview Transcript