So Faro From Being A Decent Human Being

, , , , , | Learning | July 28, 2019

(To set the scene, it is important to know that while I am fair-skinned, my maternal grandmother is Hawai’ian and Portuguese. I am the ONLY person in my family who even remotely looks Caucasian. As a result of this strange background, I have a good handle on rudimentary Portuguese. I am at work in my own classroom during my planning period, making a quick phone call to my grandmother who lives in another state. A coworker I don’t really know comes in. It’s also important to know my grandfather was half-Caucasian. I tell my grandmother that I need to go and will call her later, in Portuguese.)

Coworker: “What the h*** is that?”

(I tell my grandmother in Portuguese that I love her and end by calling her Avo, my pet name for her, which means “grandmother,” to my knowledge.)  

Coworker: “What was that?! Don’t you know English? What kind of [Hispanic slur] language is that?!”

Me: “My grandmother prefers to use Portuguese with me on the phone. It’s kind of how we preserve a little piece of her mother. Anyway, what did you need?”

Coworker: “You speak that [Hispanic slur] language on purpose? I don’t know if I want to ask someone who doesn’t know to use English in public for help!”

Me: “I clearly know English, [Coworker]. My family isn’t largely Caucasian. Didn’t you know that?”

Coworker: “Oh. So, you’re like, mixed?”

Me: “Sure, why not. What. Did. You. Need?” 

(I just want them gone.)

Coworker: Oh, I wanted to know if you could help me with this history class I have to take for my degree. I need to write a paper on Pearl Harbor. [Department Chair] said you were the person to ask about where to get good sources.”

Me: “Sure, I can give you a list. I’m kind of confused, though. Why are you having trouble finding things?”

Coworker: “I keep seeing f****** [Hispanic slur] in the pictures and these weird-a** long names with vowels. Why were we so hung up on a place with no white people?! I mean, it looks like it was in Mexico!”

Me: *head-desks*

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