The other day something peculiarly awful happened to L and I.
I’m sharing this because it is an important personal story for me. I’m also sharing it because I have seen a lot of horribly racist comments online following the earthquake/tsunami in Japan. Then this bitch posted a YouTube video of herself attempting to mock Asian and Asian American students at UCLA. (EDIT: deleted any reference to dumb blonde stereotype)
Enough is enough.
Last week L and I were crossing the street in Beverly Hills to get to my doctor’s office. I had a pre-op appointment and wanted L to be there with me. As we waited at the curb to cross the street, a pissed off man spit in the face of my husband and told us to “get out of his country.” We did absolutely nothing to provoke this attack. I was completely scared, shocked, and unprepared to be on the receiving end of this disgusting venom.
Right before this person approached us, I saw him raging down the street from afar. He looked really mad, and appeared to be yelling the n-word. My gut told me that he might be a problem, but there are a lot of angry psychos in L.A., so mostly I am immune to it. I held my breath and didn’t make eye contact. Ignoring him did nothing. He just felt compelled to gang up on the random Asian American couple minding their own business.
As I’ve learned, to get spit on is one of the worst insults. It shows such a blatant lack of respect or care. The thing that surprised me even more was that he was a person of color with platinum blonde dyed hair. So after the shock and disgust of being spit on wore off, I was like, “Who did he think he was fooling with that hideous dye job?!” It made me think back to some of the racist things that have been said to me throughout the years. I realized that at least half of them have been uttered by other people of color. One time, a foreign guy who could barely speak English told me to go back to my country. I laughed, and was like, “I can’t even understand you!!” By the way, is that supposed to be a clever cut at Asians? Go back to our own countries? Honestly, figure out a better insult, because that one is tired and so circa-1989.
People of color knocking down other people of color? We should know better than that. If you are a minority, you know how it feels to be cut down to size due to your race or rendered practically invisible at times. It’s humorous to me when minorities try so hard to be white. Do they think they conquered some major feat? Umm, sorry to let the lid off of your big secret, honey. Psssst, surprise! You’re still a person of color!
I am trying to view this whole situation as a learning experience. L and I talked about it after it happened, and we agreed that we wouldn’t have handled it any other way. The guy was looking for a fight. What if he had a concealed weapon on him? What if he turned around and robbed us? He was a shady character, and we were innocent bystanders in the wrong place at the wrong time. Despite all of that, I was still pretty angry. We don’t deserve to be treated like this. We are good people who work hard in our lives. By the way, he’s WRONG. This is MY country. My family has lived here for five generations; perhaps before his family ever landed here, and much MUCH longer than he’s been alive and dyeing his hair blonde. Yet, none of that makes a difference when it comes to situations like this.
At the end of the day, he did get one thing right. We don’t come from the same place. We are from very separate places actually. I was off to my doctor’s appointment with my husband at a world renowned hospital. He was carrying everything he owned on his back on the road to nowhere.
I’ll go back to my place, and he can go back to sleeping in a tin can.
Have you ever dealt with haters and/or racists? How did you handle it?
**A HUGE thank you to everyone on Twitter that sent me supportive comments! You guys really helped me feel better about this whole thing. I didn’t directly respond to anyone, because I was so shaken up. But you guys are seriously awesome. Thank you so much.**