Monday, July 18, 2011

Some people bring out the worst in me

Although I currently live in a town known as "Hicksville," I had never actually encountered any real-life hicks until yesterday.

WARNING: This is one of those posts where if you comment "cool post!" I'll know for damn sure you didn't read it. Just sayin'. Lol.


Before you go thinking the worst - let me explain. I'm the kind of person who likes to believe racism doesn't exist because it's nice living in a fantasy world sometimes, even if life experience and months of thesis research has taught me otherwise. I've never really witness blatant racism in front of my face (I don't feel like TV shows with those "moral lessons" at the end count) but let me tell you, it's not pretty on TV and it's not pretty in reality.

In fact, the "it" I'm talking about was about 5'4, with one leg visibly shorter than the other and various missing teeth.

I was sitting down outside of one of my favorite low-cost (sort of) eating establishments, Panera Bread, waiting for my ride when "it" happened. I hate being alone in public places when I'm waiting for something, so I kept busy by texting random people on my phone. I hear some who without looking I could tell were black, and yes, they were being a bit loud. I even thought this to myself. They were all wearing their respective mall-store uniform and talking about everything, loudly. Things that they probably could have kept to themselves, to be honest, but it was their conversation nonetheless. And that's when I hear it.

"F*cking n*ggers."

I stop sipping my lemonade. Maybe I had heard wrong? Maybe they were joking themselves and trying to imitate someone? Either way it wasn't funny and it was even less funny when I heard it again, only this time much louder.

Enter aforementioned 5'4 white woman, with one leg visibly shorter than the other and various missing teeth. The group of people are still talking, and laughing now because they finally heard her. I was sure that something was about to go down and I needed to get out of there asap. Where was this woman from thinking she could talk like this? I must be naive because I thought this sort of thing only happened in the Deep South.

The woman makes her way closer to me.

Ahh, f*ck me, right?

But she doesn't stop at me. She goes up to this random elderly couple who are minding their damn business but just as uncomfortable as I am and starts complaining about how blacks don't pay taxes and are bringing down our country. I have never witness such bigotry before in my life. The couple gets up and walks away from her, and she takes their spot in the table next to mine.

"Ma'am"?

Oh so, now I'm 'maam'?

"Excuse me, ma'am"?

I turn to look at her because at this point I was avoiding eye contact. I didn't know if I wanted to cry or fight.

"Are you Spanish"?

Here we go . . .

"I'm black," I snap back, matter-of-factly. Anytime someone asks me what I am I try to mention both my ethnicities. I'm not sure why but this time I was just black and she was pissing me off. I'm not a fighter by any means and I know she probably has no concept of how much of an ignorant racist she is but I was getting so angry with her being there and that's not like me.

"Hmph. You don't look it." (I did look it, fyi) "I'm sorry, but people like them make it bad for you."

At that moment my ride honks for me and not a second too soon. Did this woman honestly think that we're the reason for racism against ourselves??? YOU ARE THE PROBLEM.

There are so many hateful things I wanted to say at that moment that I know I wouldn't mean. I wanted to talk about her missing teeth, or her walking with a limp, or her nasty-ass hair but I'm sure she would have fired back with the well-thought out comeback of "at least I'm not black."

So instead I got in the car and left and said a little prayer for her.

----

SIDENOTE: This isn't about a black vs. white thing. This is about a dumb-ass old woman. I promise a happier post coming soon, lol. This just reeeeeeeally ticked me off. Shout out to my new followers though! :D And of course, I still love my old ones.

25 comments:

  1. FUCK her and her missing teeth. she makes it hard to be the bigger person I know, but hey we all get reality checks here and there

    ReplyDelete
  2. Sigh, Im from Long Island also so I know how you feel. Im used to going to towns like Merrick and Hicksville and getting stares and stuff. It doesnt even surprise me anymore smh.

    <3 jaz

    ReplyDelete
  3. I would have been like Well we do have a black prez in office. People wants to judge races by their worst representatives. Take that short leg of hers & she could walk in circles lol. Met a few people like this before, Im from Ark. I had somewhat a common thing happen to me a while back. I was a phone rep & this guy used the word Nigger to tell about the guy that slept w/ his wife. He didnt know I was black because of how proper I was on the phone.

    ReplyDelete
  4. hahaha lol sorry this made me laugh. But being british, I guess that's what we're trained to do. I know it makes your blood boil, because it comes from nowhere, and you can't believe it's happening, and you don't know whether to laugh, cry or slap someone. Luckily for me I have an amazing temper. And I say screw being the bigger person. Once insulted I insult back, and I would have told her plenty about herself :p but well done for keeping your cool :D X

    ReplyDelete
  5. Aw, ur from Hicksville? Im from Long Beach/Uniondale :) And yes child, racism is rampant on Long Island (white vs black, black vs hispanic, etc)or at least it was when i was there. I've been gone 6 years now so idk, things may have changed.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I was looking for a new post from you on my blogger buzz lol

    wow....from what you've described its seems like there was something wrong with her mentally. I think something HAS to be wrong with her if she can be so bold as to ask you your race smh. Racism is such a sad and unfortunate part of life. And no matter how far we get past the matter it's moments like these that have us taking a step back or second guessing our 'progress'. Even though you wanted to go off on her, you handled yourself like a lady. Kudos to you!! :)

    ReplyDelete
  7. My mouth dropped when I read your post. She's definitely ignorant. Racism happens everywhere and it comes from all sorts of people. I was eating sushi at the mall one day; I was eating with chopstick because I know how to use them. This old white woman, who looked kinda crazy, walked by and stopped dead in her tracks. She said "wow, you can eat with chopsticks. Where'd you grow up, the Orient?"

    My jaw dropped because I just really didn't know what to say to her. My first thought was that I really didn't even know how to respond. She took my lack of a response as my inability to speak the English language. She spat out "Foreigner" and walked away. I still can't believe it.

    Some people are just really ignorant, both of these woman belong in this category. I try to just ignore stupid people because it never really ends well for them when I'm around.

    Also, thanks for your comment about my dad. I really do appreciate it. I'll keep you posted on his status.

    ReplyDelete
  8. I can understand how you feel but some people are just ignorant. I too was like you thinking racism didn't exist and then my daughter told me that a child in your class told her she couldn’t attend her slumber party because she was brown. It was an upsetting emotional experience for me and in my 27 years I've never experienced racism but for my 5 year old to go through that was too much for me. It's unfortunate that racism is around us but some people still have those hateful beliefs. I'm proud that you handled it the way you did because turning the cheek is one step closer to proving her beliefs wrong because if you would have reacted hostile you would have been giving her what she wanted.

    ReplyDelete
  9. ....and ignorance ensues... Even in this day and time! I know exactly what this is like because I grew up in a small ass country town in which a lot of similar thoughts were shared openly whenever, wherever, and however by the town bigots. Just when I think our country is moving forward in the right direction we take a couple of steps back. Even in my new city people ask me am I "mixed with something" because my children and I have this so-called "good hair" and we speak the King's English. But I digress. People aren't like that everywhere but encounters like this definitely remind us all that ignorance is still among us. Don't do anything out of character, but always be mindful that this world isn't all roses!

    PS- I think it was very big of you to say a prayer for the old bitty :-)

    ReplyDelete
  10. This makes me sick. It kind of makes me sad that I'm the same race as this woman! That's so amazing that you didn't do anything back, and that you said a prayer for you. You are one inspirational woman! :)

    sweetconfessions21.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  11. Oh wow. How rude of her! I would have felt the same tension as you sitting in that chair. People are still so ignorant these days. Sigh. I'm glad you held your piece and prayed for her.
    Thanks for the comment on ny blog :)
    Yours is so nice, decorative and well put together.
    It would be nice if we followed each other.
    Nequia X

    ReplyDelete
  12. THat's horrible, i'm sorry u had to deal with that. I'm glad u brought it up to her though, stand your ground girl! I actually heard the N word this weekend too (from a stranger at the pool) and was really angry about it, I guess I am naive and think that people don't use it anymore. It saddens me that it still is.

    ReplyDelete
  13. That sounds so awful! ;s
    Anyway thanks for your comment dear.
    xoxo

    ReplyDelete
  14. Oh no.... sad. =( The world will be a better place if we all just accept and appreciate each other. Sorry you had to go through that awful experience.

    ReplyDelete
  15. That sucks! I've experienced something similar except the folks who said it were in a moving vehicle when they said it so it was kind of hard to say something back. So sad that people can be that hateful! You did the right thing though, you could have gone in on her and her nasty comment and her appearance but you didn't and prayed instead. Hate you had that experience Nhya.

    -Nikki
    http://nicolealiciaonline.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  16. Ohhh hell no. I'm sitting here fuming at the blatant ignorance and racism that clearly still exists in 2011. I'm so angry its difficult for me to type. You were right to pray for her because only prayer can change people like that. UGH..

    ReplyDelete
  17. The saddest part about this article was that you weren't too aware until now. We tend to get spoiled inside our own social circles.

    Coming from a predominately white community in Westchester County, NY. I've had too many experiences like this. From toddlers, to teachers, peers, police, etc.

    In most cases (today at least) racism is concealed and the reality is that woman was just breaking some of the rules. I think she expressed what is felt by many people across the country (and perhaps the world).

    Let this be a wake up call for you. We all need to open our eyes.

    Thank you for sharing your story Nhya!

    ReplyDelete
  18. Aww hun <3 What a horrible, and downright ugly person that woman is. Yeah, even though this is the modern times, you would think people are more open-minded and well-educated than those who lived 40-50 years before us. Yet racism is alive and still plagues our society. And yeah, sad to say, it is concealed by the pretence of propriety and being politically correct, and after a while, some people slip into their true mindset and then things like this one happen.

    I had my share of being singled out in an airport because of prejudice to my nationality, but never such a blatant display of rudeness like this experience you just had.

    I'm so happy to hear you did not stoop down to her level. To walk away and say a prayer for this poor and ignorant being was the wisest thing to do and it shows you had more character and a broader mind than her. She clearly has a lot of issues in life and has a poor coping mechanism. She just made herself even more pathetic and made a fool of herself by acting the way she did.

    ReplyDelete
  19. yeah, it all goes back to people thinking that they know everything about everything. sorry girlfriend, but it seems like you handled it well!
    Forever Chic,
    Amber

    ReplyDelete
  20. I think it's just weird that people see a difference between black and white people.. we're all human and def the same on the inside.. In holland this isn't that much of a problem, so glad about that!

    ReplyDelete
  21. You handled yourself in a very classy manner. It's sort of a grandiose comparison, but your reaction is very similar to the way the African-Americans in Montgomery composed themselves during the bus boycotts. Even through the hate, the lynchings, and the bombing of MLK Jr.'s home, violence was never met with violence. And that's how they won that battle.

    She insulted you, but you turned the other cheek. Takes a lot of strength to do that. Way to go.


    ~SP

    ReplyDelete
  22. Wow! Racism is alive and well but I too like to pretend that it is non-existent.

    I have experienced racism before as well. I attended a predominantly white school and my best friend and I were walking back to our dorm one night from having dinner. We were minding our own business when this red pickup truck rides past us and the white man in the passenger seat, sticks his head out the window and calls us "N!ggers!!". There was no one else outside but us so we damn near ran to our dorm because we weren't sure how things would have played out. Ignorant.

    Love your blog! :o)

    ReplyDelete
  23. That is beyond rude. I have never in my entire life called someone black that disrespectful name. I just feel awkward in my own body when I hear anyone say anything bad about another race.

    ReplyDelete
  24. What the hell? i didn't know racism existed in USA... sad to hear about t.
    But waow Nhya ! wow... you are like some gandhian philosopher who didn't snap back. I would've lunged at the old lady's throat.

    ReplyDelete

Thanks for visiting my page and taking the time to leave a comment. You rock for that! Make sure you leave the URL to your blog/site so I can check you out too! & if you like what you read, feel free to follow :]

PS - I'm good for commenting back on my page in response to questions/etc. But I will always check out yours.

- Nhya