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Canada: America’s Hat, Part 4

, , , , , | Right | December 14, 2011

(I am an American citizen living and working as a legal Canadian resident.)

Customer: “It’s too bad that you can’t leave to vote, or do they let you do that here?”

Me: “I can’t vote. I’m not a citizen.”

(The customer’s jaw drops.)

Customer: “Wow! Where are you from?”

Me: “The US.”

Customer: “Well, I never would have guessed. You look just like one of us!”

(He gestures to himself and his shopping companion.)

Me: “Uh, thanks?”


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America: Land Of The Delusional

, | Right | December 12, 2011

(I am an Asian-American girl without any accent. I’m working the information desk in a busy, urban hospital setting. An older, kindly woman approaches my desk.)

Woman: *in a perfect Irish brogue* “I just wanted to ask you a question.”

Me: “Sure. What can I help you with?”

Woman: “Are you American?”

Me: “Yes, I am.”

Woman: *smiles kindly* “No, you’re not.” *walks away*

Love Is In The Mix

, , , | Romantic | December 7, 2011

(I’m meeting my boyfriend on a pier to watch the Fourth of July fireworks. It’s a very popular location in a predominately Hispanic neighborhood. Though I don’t look very Hispanic, I am. My boyfriend is Nordic. An old man starts talking to my boyfriend before I find him.)

Old man: “There sure are a lot of people here today, aren’t there?”

Boyfriend: “Yeah, well, it’s the Fourth of July.”

Old man: “There are a lot of them Hispanics, too, aren’t there?”

Boyfriend: “I guess?”

Old man: “The women are nice to look at, aren’t they? You know, you can look, that’s fine. But you can’t marry them. Imagine if you had mixed children with them! They’re taking over our country!”

Boyfriend: “Actually, my girlfriend is Hispanic.”

Old man: “Well, sleeping with them is fine. Just don’t marry them or have kids with them!”

(My boyfriend is speechless. I find him and walk up. He wraps his arms around me and kisses me sweetly.)

Boyfriend: *to me “Hi, my dear. I missed you.” *to the old man* “This is my girlfriend.”

Old man: “She looks like a nice white girl.”

Boyfriend: “Actually, she’s half Puerto Rican. She’s one of those ‘mixed children’.”

(He keeps his arms around me, clearly indicating that we’re not just ‘sleeping together’. He stalks off, mumbling about mixed children and Hispanics.)

Bow-Wow Bigotry

, | Right | December 2, 2011

(At the doggie daycare, one of the play rooms has a glass window where customers can watch the dogs playing. We have a three-legged dog that is a daily regular in this playroom. I am working at the front desk. A customer, looking somewhat distressed, approaches the desk with a small child, who looks very distressed.)

Me: “Hi, how can I help you today?”

Customer: “I was wondering if you could remove that three-legged dog from the playroom for just a few minutes. My daughter wants to watch the dogs, but the three-legged one is freaking her out.”

Me: “I…I’m sorry ma’am, but we cannot remove her. She is a regular here and she is getting along well with the other dogs. Her owner has paid us to let her play in there. We will not remove her because someone feels uncomfortable with her appearance.”

Customer: “Fine. I guess you all don’t care about your customers after all!” *huffs off*

Me: *speechless*

A War Unwon

, , | Friendly | November 19, 2011

(I am on leave and meeting an old friend in a restaurant inside a mall. Since I don’t know the area, I get there early and decide to window-shop beforehand. An old guy in his 80s approaches me.)

Customer: “I remember the good days when I didn’t have to see many of you orientals. Now, you’re everywhere stealing our jobs. All you do is get in the way and take from my great country.”

Me: “Sir, I’m a Marine. I’ve been in Afghanistan on multiple tours for the last three years. I serve OUR great country.”

Customer: “Oh! That’s good. Better you than losing some American boys.”

(I think about how the Marines trained me to survive everything an enemy can throw at us, but not how to listen to an old racist white man.)