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A Buffet Of Casual Racism

, , , , , | Right | May 17, 2018

(My husband and I go to a Chinese buffet restaurant for lunch. It’s the weekend and my husband, who is Japanese, is wearing cargo shorts and a nerdy t-shirt, while the staff is dressed in black slacks and white shirts. We are the only people at the buffet at the time and we are chatting as we fill our plates. A customer comes up on the other side of the buffet line. After a moment she comes over to our side and stops in front of my husband.)

Customer: “What’s that?” *she points to a dish on the buffet*

(My husband isn’t paying any attention to her.)

Customer: *louder* “Hey! I said, ‘What’s that?'”

(My husband looks up at the labels for the food on the buffet, but there isn’t one for that dish.)

Husband: “I don’t know.”

Customer: *condescending* “What do you mean, you don’t know?!”

Husband: “I don’t work here, obviously.” *he gestures to his clothes*

Customer: *stymied for a moment, then charges on* “Well, you should still know because you’re Chinese!”

Husband: “I’m not Chinese, and even if I was, I wouldn’t know every dish on a buffet.”

Customer: *glares at him as he stares back at her*

Me: *gesturing toward an employee not ten feet away* “Ask someone who works here!”

Customer: *hmphs at us then starts to walk away*

Husband: *murmurs under his breath* “I don’t know kung-fu, either.”

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