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January 29th, 2009


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09:45 pm - Maybe I SHOULD Go Back to My Country
Is it racism week or something? No, seriously, is it racism week? Because five days after this WTFery, I'm hit with an even bigger bit of WTFery.

A friend's Facebook status complains about T-Mobile customer service, and the first comment makes reference to the Indians who are always on the other end of the line. The tone of the statement pings me, but the sentiment itself is not really offensive since we're all well aware that customer service is outsourced to India and sometimes the rep's English isn't very good; it's a common joke. Then, however, the guy starts talking about Bollywood's "synchronized dancing" and how it should be an Olympic sport...with gold medals for hitting the dot. This is more over the line, but the guy at least recognizes it. This is all simply the setup; if it had ended here, I would have just rolled my eyes and gone on with my life.

I ignore all those comments and respond to my friend directly: "I've had good experiences with T-Mobile customer service. They have nice humans over there." For those of you not on Facebook, I note that, unless you modify your privacy settings, your picture displays next to any comment you make.

A few minutes later, someone says this:
<--- i looking as Sunil Patel picture and wondering..."is he having an accent"? (and hopping has a sence of humor and is not pacastanie :P)
...

...

...

I know that I am very lucky to be able to say that this is quite possibly the most offensive thing that has ever been said to me.

"Are you going back to your country?" is well-intentioned ignorance. "Is he having an accent?" is...I don't even have any words. (Really, I don't. My initial response to the comment is a simple "*headTARDIS*") Only my friends get to make racist jokes about me, and even they know better.

miniglik cooked up a better response for me to post:
Sunil Patel is having a sence of humor, but that is no funny.
I am just aghast that someone can simply look at my picture and see my funny name and decide that I'm Not From Around Here. I have rarely felt self-conscious about being Indian. I have no problems posting pictures of myself on LJ; I have an icon of myself. I have never once worried that someone might treat me differently online because I'm Indian.

And until this week, where I was hit with two encounters in six days, I've never felt like I didn't fucking belong in this country. That I was unwanted.

Again, I know I'm lucky that I don't encounter racism on a daily, weekly, or even monthly basis. Besides these two incidents, I can only think of two major times in recent years that I've felt antagonized for being Indian. So it's a shock to the system that I'm not as immune as I thought. It's very eye-opening, and it reminds me that we still have a ways to go.

Which really annoys me because I liked living in my fantasy world where racism wasn't an issue.

ETA: He apologized.
Current Mood: shockedshocked
Current Music: Seether - Because of Me

(56 memoirs | Describe me as "inscrutable")

Comments:


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From:wee_warrior
Date:January 30th, 2009 10:13 am (UTC)
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Oh, wth. Sorry this happened to you. What a jerk!
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From:sneaker328
Date:January 30th, 2009 11:22 am (UTC)
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Can't talk. Too busy swearing like a sailor.
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From:lareinenoire
Date:January 30th, 2009 11:37 am (UTC)
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This is one of those moments when I wish Facebook had a 'hit X with lead pipe' application. That's an awful thing to happen to you.
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From:harper47
Date:January 30th, 2009 11:53 am (UTC)
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Keep living in your fantasy world Sunil and try to ignore the rampant idiots that sadly infest the planet. I'm sorry you've had to deal with this. People are so malajusted sometimes.
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From:spectralbovine
Date:January 30th, 2009 05:02 pm (UTC)
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I like my fantasy world. It's safe.
From:sainfoin_fields
Date:January 30th, 2009 01:34 pm (UTC)
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...But what is a pacastanie?????
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From:spectralbovine
Date:January 30th, 2009 04:20 pm (UTC)
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It took me a couple minutes to figure out he meant "Pakistani."
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From:sdwolfpup
Date:January 30th, 2009 01:39 pm (UTC)
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UGH. I'm sorry the racist asshattery as been so strong this week.
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From:dachelle
Date:January 30th, 2009 01:40 pm (UTC)
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That is just ridiculous. And so incredibly poorly spelled and gramatically incorrect. It's offensive on multiple levels!

Anyway, *hugs* I'm so sorry you've had to deal with so much ignorance lately.
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From:anne_jumps
Date:January 30th, 2009 02:44 pm (UTC)
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It's offensive on multiple levels!

I was just thinking that. Ugh.
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From:mrbroom
Date:January 30th, 2009 02:28 pm (UTC)
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Huh. Just yesterday one of my friends remarked in his status that he had de-friended someone for making overtly racist statements on Facebook, to which one of his friends replied she'd done something similar this week.

I think it is racism week.
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From:spectralbovine
Date:January 30th, 2009 04:20 pm (UTC)
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Ha! Geez.
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From:cmbarrytx
Date:January 30th, 2009 03:05 pm (UTC)
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*stares in horror*

I have no words.
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From:ashfae
Date:January 30th, 2009 03:15 pm (UTC)
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Oh, man. I'm so sorry. Yechh.

In Ashfae country you are very warmly welcome. =)
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From:behindpyramids
Date:January 30th, 2009 03:20 pm (UTC)
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Oh my God. I really don't know what to say except that I keep forwarding this entry to everyone I know because you just word something that I know about- it's happened to me- so well. I know I'm lucky, but these occasional statements that don't seem harmful are so terrible in their unconsciousness. (What I hate even more is when other people say "so...what's so bad about that?" Can't you tell!? Isn't it obvious?!)

*hug*

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From:spectralbovine
Date:January 30th, 2009 05:04 pm (UTC)
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I know I'm lucky, but these occasional statements that don't seem harmful are so terrible in their unconsciousness.
Yeah, it's like...it's all out there, latent, waiting to strike. And it's like, did we not notice? Have we been so naive?
From:harriettheelf
Date:January 30th, 2009 03:40 pm (UTC)
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so much for post-racial society, eh?

I don't have any good or helpful words. People suck. Especially a whole lot of white people.
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From:spectralbovine
Date:January 30th, 2009 05:05 pm (UTC)
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Obama needs to cure racism faster, I tell you what.
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From:raelee
Date:January 30th, 2009 03:51 pm (UTC)
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One idiot is no reason to return to Texas.

I kid because I can't deal with the idea that someone would be this stupid or insensitive. But, also, to point out that THIS IS YOUR COUNTRY. Ignorant and racist people can't change that.
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From:twenty8penguin
Date:January 30th, 2009 04:58 pm (UTC)
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I'm not sure which is more offensive - the sentiment or using LOLSpeak on facebook!

(Obviously, the sentiment. But still.)

I don't know if this comes from growing up white and sheltered, but I am always shocked when I hear about blatant racism. I'm not sure if this story will make you feel better or worse, but know that you're not alone.

My boyfriend just turned 30 and has a great job as a business banker. He is far more eloquent than I am - and I've got that silly Rice degree under my belt. He's also Guatemalan. (Was actually born there, but grew up in Cali and Colorado.)

A man came into the bank the other day, sits down and starts talking about the "good old days" - the 70's. He explains to Hector that, back in those days, Hector wouldn't be working at a desk... he'd be mopping the floors. Hector ignores this and tries to get back to business. The man persists, "What are you? Mexican?" (At this point, Hector's looking around for the hidden cameras - this has to be a joke, right?) "Uh, no, sir, actually, I'm Guatemalan." "It's all south of the border!" the man replies.

Since this guy is a client, Hector can't say something offensive back. He grits his teeth and attempts to get back to work. They begin working on this guy's accounts, when the guy looks up at the huge painting of Jesse Jones in the bank lobby. He says "You know, he'd be rolling in his grave if he saw you handling his money."

That was the final straw... Hector left his desk, sent another banker over, and to this day refuses to talk to that client. When I heard the story, I was LIVID... and here's the kicker, the client was black. Hector and I laugh about the story now, but seriously, WTF?
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From:spectralbovine
Date:January 30th, 2009 05:07 pm (UTC)
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Oh man! That's a good story. In that, yes, it's very similar to this kind of WTF shit. Do people not know any better? What is wrong with them? I'm sorry your husband had to go through that.
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From:rachelmanija
Date:January 30th, 2009 05:48 pm (UTC)
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It's totally racism week! Haven't you noticed?

On a more serious note, I'm really sorry that happened. It's extremely offensive and hurtful, and that guy is a racist troll.

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