Sigh. It's just so hard telling women of color apart from each other, isn't it?
Take Malala Yousafzai and Mindy Kaling. One is a Pakistani assassination survivor who stared down the Taliban and was shot in the face for it. She refused to end her crusade for girls' education and just became the youngest Nobel Peace Prize winner ever.
The other is known for such brave acts as:
But none of that stopped a drunk guy from mixing up the pair.
A New York Times reporter was definitely in the right place at the right time, profiling Kaling for a feature. The Mindy Project actress and creator was at the New Yorker Festival, spouting bon mots like "If George Clooney died and I were Amal, this is what I would wear to the funeral," when it happened.
A man stumbles up to her and congratulates Kaling on her Nobel Prize and even remarking she recovered very well from the Taliban bullet wounds.
"Did he really think I’m Malala?" Kaling wondered. "And that if I were, I’d be at the Boom Boom Room?"
Kaling took the mix up in good humor, but come on, America, we have to do better than this. Kaling and Yousafzai are amazing in their own ways (honestly, we're not knocking Kaling – The Mindy Project is one of the funniest shows on TV.)
But if people with similar skin tones tend to confuse you, it's always better to lead with, "So you were shot by the Taliban, huh?" instead of assuming. That's just good manners.