One Racist, Two Racist, Three Racist, Ha Ha Ha

, , , , , | Friendly | May 8, 2018

(I’m Romanian but have lived in the USA for a few years now, and I’ve never had a noticeable accent. I’m looking for something to wear at a party while quietly talking on the phone with my grandmother who does not speak English. I am quiet enough to talk to her without disturbing the other customers. After a few minutes one of them taps my shoulder.)

Me: “Can I help you?”

Stranger: “Yes, stop speaking that gibberish; it’s annoying! Speak English, like any good American does.”

Me: “Sir, if you don’t mind, I’m speaking to my grandmother, and she doesn’t speak English.”

Stranger: “Well… She should learn!”

Me: “You want a woman in her late 60s who rarely leaves Romania to learn English?”

Stranger: “Yes… Wait, Romania’s a real place?”

Me: “Yup, and as a reply to your earlier statement, I am, in fact, not American.”

Stranger: “But you don’t have an accent!”

Me: “If you mean that ridiculous, vaguely Eastern European accent you hear from the Count on Sesame Street, then I’m sorry to disappoint. Frankly, I’m tired of this conversation, and FYI, the US has no official language. There is no law mandating I should speak it even when the person I’m speaking to doesn’t.”

(I returned to my call and walked away. Later on, I saw the same person being escorted out for cursing at a cashier who spoke Spanish to an elderly man who had trouble pronouncing some words in English.)

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