Monday, September 27, 2010


Never in my life, have I seen racism up close. There is so much of it going around. To be honest we all probably have bits of racism or race or religion judgment floating around deep within us. I've just never seen in manifested into words against a stranger right before my eyes.

So here's the story...
I was at Target on my lunch break, I was in the shoe section looking around. There were two other couples in the same isle as me; and I was standing in the middle of them. On of them was an older white couple and the other was a young middle eastern couple with two kids.

One of the kids were crying. Not very loudly at all...and the Mother was singing to him to try and soothe him. I was really paying neither couple much attention until I heard the older gentlemen start mumbling to his wife. H would say something and she would laugh and keep looking at shoes. After a minute or two of this, I felt a tap on my elbow as I was reaching for a pair of shoes on the top shelf, when I turned the man, he actually said to me laughing, "It's bad enough they send their people to kill ours, now we have to share our county and our stores with these 'darn' terrorists too?!"

My jaw. hit. the. floor.

I felt like I immediately began trembling...either out of shock or fear at what was rumbling inside of me all of the sudden, and all I could eek out was "EXCUSE ME?! You don't know them!" I was shocked. My voice cracked when I spoke. As I said them I couldn't believe I was even speaking up. I am completely a non-confrontational person, especially towards strangers; but the words came out before I could even think. It felt like all I wanted to do was scream at him. I wanted to yell at him for assuming he knew their religion, their beliefs, etc. I wanted to make him apologize to that Family. The same family that is going to have to fight racism and judgment like that for the rest of their lives, the same ones who will have to explain to their (what looked to be 8 or 9 year old) son why this man judged them the way he did.

I am sure it was written all over my face, especially as I picked my jaw up off the floor and hid my eyes from his. I know he could tell I was upset. I could see out of the corner of my eye, that he put his hand on his wife's back and led her out of the isle and quickly too.

I still wanted to run after him and slap him.

What was worse, what really turned my stomach was when I turned to look towards that Family. The Mother had stopped singing to her child and was just staring at her Husband. I couldn't see her eyes, but I felt the sadness. I know they heard what the man said. I was immediately sick to my stomach and wanted to leave, so as I walked by the family I felt the need to apologize for the man's horrible words, so I did. "I'm so sorry" I said, she just smiled at me.

In that brief 3 minute period, what felt like 20 minutes, I felt the pain of many people. The whole thing just made me sick. I've watched documentaries and shows about racism in America, especially post 9/11. And yeah you know, who knows? That family could have been devote Muslim extremists, who believed in terrorizing our Country. Or they could have been full-blooded Americans, having the same beliefs as that Man, or as Me.

And that's just the point.

We don't know.
He didn't know.

The way he acted was despicable.

I only hope I reacted well enough. I only hope that I was able to show God somehow in my response.

I know that this is America and people can have their own opinions, but seriously? To speak out things like that about people you don't even make assumptions like that? That is not what our freedom of speech is about. And don't assume that because I am white like you, that I share your opinions.

I'm just having trouble wrapping my head around the whole situation. I really opened up alot of thoughtfulness within me, regarding how easily we all judge people around us. Whether it be because of race, religion, economic, family or career status. I'm just at a loss.



Many Titles said...

Oh wow. It's really sad that some people can't see everyone as just human beings. As God's children. Why do we need to be segregated into color, ethnicity, or gender?

- Sarah :-) said...

I, too, am at a loss. I just cannot believe it. I'm speechless!!

Myya said...

WOW!!! My husband & his family are Arabic. They are from Syria. Although my husband was born & raised here his parents were not. They have been here for well over 40 years & are outstanding citizens, business owners & wonderful people. They are not muslim so I imagine they do not get the looks like others would but they are proud Arabs! Looking at my husband & most of his family you wouldn't even know thier nationality I'm sure this is probably why they don't get many comments, thank God. Years ago when I was working & right before I was getting married one of my coworkers asked about my husband to be. I was telling her what my new last name would be. After a few comments she says to me... Does he know any terroists? Does he have any in his family? REALLY??? It took everything out of me not to make a scene. She was ignorant & stupid so I didn't place much thought into it, but it did fire me up a bit. I couldn't even imagine having to live with it day in & day out. GOOD for you for acknowledging that that old man was in the wrong & I am quite sure your gentle words even if only I'm sorry meant so very much to that couple.

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