Say Adios To Racism

| Orlando, FL, USA | Bigotry, Family & Kids, Top, Tourists/Travel

(I work in the guest services department of a major theme park. A Hispanic twenty-something mother and her young son approach the desk.)

Me: “Yes, ma’am, how can I help you?”

Mother: “Hello, I… no find… boy… hat.”

Me: “Pardon?”

Mother: “I no… look…”

(I switch to Spanish, which I can speak fairly well after four years studying it in high school.)

Me: *in Spanish* “Do you speak Spanish?”

Mother: “Oh, yes! Thank you so much! While my son and I were riding the roller coaster, he lost his hat and we came to see if you could send anyone to find it.”

Me: “I’m afraid we can’t send anyone to look under the roller coaster until after the park closes, but we can give you a gift certificate to buy a new hat for him at the shop.”

Mother: “That would be excellent! Thank you!”

(A burly-looking man, who is waiting for a park representative in the seating area, stands up and shouts at me.)

Man: “Hey! What the h*** do you think you’re doin’, boy?!”

Me: “Excuse me?”

Man: “You talkin’ that [racial slur] language? The h***’s wrong with you? You just encouragin’ them—” *points at the mother and son* “—to come over here like they own this country!”

Me: “Well, sir, I speak English and Spanish. This lady seemed to be having trouble with her English, so I thought I’d try Spanish.”

(He walks over to the counter, and puts his face right in mine.)

Man: “That’s a bunch of bull-s***! They came to our country, so they gotta learn to talk our language! You just gonna let them win by speakin’ their language?!”

Me: “Uh… win what?”

Man: “Man, it’s because of f****** like you that they think they can just come in here and tell us what to do!”

(He gives the woman a dirty look, and she becomes very frightened. I push the silent security alert button under the counter. Suddenly the little boy moves, and stands in front of his mother.)

Son: “Quit bein’ mean to my mama, poop head!”

Man: “You gonna make me, you little [racial slur]?”

Son:They will!”

(He points out the glass door, as two security officers approach.)

Security Guard #1: “I’m going to have to ask you to come with us, sir.”

Man: “For what?! Defending America?!”

Security Guard #2: “For threatening our other guests. If you don’t come peacefully, we will restrain you.”

(The man grits his teeth, and seems to be considering fighting the guards, but after a moment he gives up and goes with them.)

Me: “Adios!”

Man: “F*** you, f**!”

(I turn to the mother and son, and start speaking to them in Spanish again.)

Me: “I’m sorry about that man, ma’am. He won’t bother you again.”

Mother: “Thank you! I thought he was going to hit me.”

Son: “I won’t let him hurt you, mama!”

Me: “Young man, since you were so brave, I’m going to give you an extra gift certificate, so you can get a cartoon character doll, too.”

Son: “Wow! You’re so nice, mister!”