my first racist interaction

“Our true nationality is mankind.”
H.G. Wells

 

It happened today. For the first time. Left me shocked and bewildered.

I was on the bus. Listening to stories about Costa Rica and plant medicines.

My stop was nearing, I indicated I am stepping off so that the man beside me would let me through.

He was looking away in his big headphones, seeming as if he didn’t hear me.

The bus doors were closing.

“Excuse me”, I said

“Okay, fu**** wait”, he said, still looking away.

Ohh, sorry, I thought you didn’t hear me”, I replied.

I headed for the door, and he said:

“Stupid fu**** Persian bi**”

 

I paused for a beat and contemplated saying, “there is no need for hate”, but instead, I quietly slid off the bus, my face showing no emotions.

I am not Persian. But that doesn’t matter. Why would stating any race, be a curse word or an insult!

He was big and tall, I am tiny and short. Bigger men bully me, occasionally.

However, this was hate against any race other than his own. And that cracked my heart.

I have never been so close to racism. And this was only a fraction of it. What a sad heart he must carry. Oh, what a sad world we led for years.

This brought me to tears, not just for me. If I witnessed someone else receiving that comment, I would be punched in the heart just as much.

 

And to that stranger,

I hope your day gets better, and you are kind to other strangers. I hope whatever sorrow you are carrying, dissolves into love, rather than hate.

 

I am very much fine. I am grateful for this experience. For it expanded my mind and stretched my heart with empathy and love (love for myself, too).

Have you ever experienced this kind of prejudice?

 

 

8 Responses

  1. Sorry you had to experience that. I think, at some point, for some reason, almost everyone has experienced, or at least witnessed, some form of prejudice. Unfortunately, prejudice is not innate. It’s learned…from parents, in most cases.

  2. That’s horrible on the man’s part. But I understand what you mean by the benefit to your heart and mind. And it says a lot to me both about racism and big or strong versus small people.

  3. This was a horrible experience for you. No way to dress it up. Hopefully, it did not happen at the start of the day.

    I experience this kind of thing several times a month but as a WASP, white privileged, (supply similar labels of choice) my experiences are a bit different. Living as one of few foreigners in an Indonesian community, a lot of racial stuff manages to seep through the language barrier.

  4. I’ve never understood people hating other people for things that were there upon birth.
    You want to hate someone because they punched you in the face? Totally understand.
    You want to hate someone because they were born a certain way? I don’t get that.
    No one picks how they were born. No one gets to change those results after they’re born. And the fact that there are people who can’t seem to see the inherent ignorance in that hate baffles me.

  5. I’ve heard plenty by racist whites who assume I am because my skin is white. It’s ugly. I’ve been the recipient of countless acts of hatred upon me because I am a female in a male-dominated world and refuse to act cutesy and helpless. I am very glad you were not physically harmed on the bus. I hope you start carrying pepper spray or other means of protection.

  6. Wow, what a jerk, are you sure you weren’t in the US when that happened? I’m afraid I’m past feeling sympathy for racists, having lived all my life in a country that’s flooded with them, and having seen time and again that most racists have no interest in changing their hearts or minds.

  7. Unfortunately some people just look for hate in the world and then to spread it.

    You’re a kind person wishing them a better day. Not many return kindness when faced with that kind of hate.

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