I was working with a group of people just for the day. Because I have a really bad memory for names, I wrote a descriptive word next to each person's name on my sheet of paper: stripes, khaki, glasses, blonde and then I came to the only person in the room who was black. I hesitated, should I use a word that desribes clothing instead of my first choice of description? Is it offensive, I wondered and instantly recoiled from my own stupid liberal quasi-sensitivity. How can skin colour be offensive?

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