Spring and Racism

Catchy yet unusual title right? Well, that is what today was all about. It started on a great note with the amazing weather and 70 degree sunshine brightness that had everyone outdoors on their bikes, in their tennis shoes running, and swimming in flowy dresses and skirts. I could literally taste spring, it was just that big a change. As I looked at the blooming cherry blossoms and wild flowers life just seemed good, and all that sadness that had taken over these last couple of days (thank you for all of your kind words by the way) felt manageable, or at least not permanent.

We had plans for tonight to attend a AIDS benefit dance festival and it was amazing. I was enamored by all the different dances and the amazing talent that was shared with the audience. The vibe oozed diversity, peace, happiness, perseverance, gosh, just plain love all around, and I just felt such unity. When the show ended we walked over to a local burrito place on campus to get yummy food.

Mind you, this just happened an hour ago. We get our food, stuff our faces and politely smile at the college students nearby. In come two white young men in their bow ties, dark blue blazers and khakis, clearly returning from some type of fraternity/sorority formal. One of them is clearly wasted so tries to get stable by sitting down, while the other orders food, and I hear his voice escalate. I tune in, and he’s complaining that he’s being overcharged for the salsa, THE SALSA, by a $1. The guy at the counter insists it’s always been this amount, but the tall fella with the bow tie starts cursing, repeats he’s being overcharged, and then proceeds to snark the following: “You guys need to go back to Mexico. You don’t understand our money. What do you think $1 is, a peso???” !!!***???!!!***???? This is what I’m feeling inside and am one second from exploding in his face!!! I want to take my salsa and throw it in his ridiculous face! I want to drag him back to the show we just got done watching and tell him to learn a thing or five.

So there you have it, from cherry blossoms to old southern-plantation racism. And just when the whole day was about to be titled perfect. Can’t say that I can’t believe it, because sadly I can, but to have the guts to say that, and to be so young with all that hate inside, as a student in such a fine institution- it’s just heart breaking peeps, it really is. Before he walked out I yelled, “Here, you can have my salsa that I got for free!”

On a completely unrelated note, here’s the OOTD:

anthropologie here & there dress
anthropologie the-in-crowd necklace
seychelles t-straps


21 thoughts on “Spring and Racism

  1. Unfortunatelyl, yes, I do believe there is some racism still lingering out there! I am asian and have witnessed it personally. Before I had kids, me and my husband stopped off at Cracker Barrelin a little town in Pooler, Georgia off I-95. We could tell we weren't welcomed there! The person ahead of us held the door open, turned and saw us and then let the door go. An old woman had plenty of room to walk around me, but she pretty much yelled, "excuse me" to me!It's sad, but it's still around.On a better note, the dress looks great on you! It's popped back in a 0 in the catalog, and I tried to order it, but it says it's out of stock.Have a good night.

  2. While your outfit is beautiful, that story just made my blood boil. That's just disgusting. I went to school in Athens, Ga, and have heard my share of racist comments (never directed at me, thank God, but unimaginably offensive nonetheless) and you know what- it's always sadder when young people, with wonderful, blessed lives, spew such hateful garbage, because they have even less of an excuse for espousing such a bitter, ignorant view of the world. How upsetting.

  3. Normally, I love to pop over to your blog to see your outfits and such, but wow… I'm completely baffled!!! Not at the fact that you're pointing out racist people, but that so far ALL OF YOU ARE BEING RACIST by accusing only southern people of being racist! Looks like the POT IS CALLING THE KETTLE BLACK!"…old southern-plantation racism" As if racism has only ever occurred in the south? I think not.

  4. *confused*I think the people posting *live* in Southern states…at least that is how I read it.Anyway. What a jerk. I can't believe someone would resort to racist name-calling over a dollar…or anything, for that matter.I also guess he forgot the universal rule: if someone is preparing, serving, or otherwise touching your food…BE NICE TO THEM!

  5. Anon: No one here is singling out Southerners as being the only racist folk around. Gemma and I simply shared our individual experiences with racism, and they both happened to take place in Georgia. However, I absolutely agree, there are racist people everywhere. As for Dea's words "old southern-plantation racism", I think that's simply a historical reference used to provide a frame of reference in the current context. We don't usually espouse or encourage any sort of negativity or aggressive behavior on forums such as this, so the all caps aren't necessary.

  6. I love your dress — so pretty and a lovely color palette.Ugh, I experienced some of it quite a bit when I worked at my government job a few months ago because I was the only one who looked vaguely ethnic (half Asian/half European mix). I had to set up a governor-related event in a small town school, and when I got there, one of the administrators singled me out in front of my co-workers by asking me if I was "one of those Mexicans" in such a rude, condescending way, as if he had never seen anyone with any hint of brown in their skin. I just responded, "No" as politely as I could without screaming. If my co-workers were not there (which they pretended it didn't happen), I would have said a lot more.Sad to say, it persists, but it helps to have an open dialogue about it.Hope you have a wonderful weekend.

  7. First of all, Dea i love that dress! And also, this is a blog about your life so you can write whatever you want, which includes Racism. Sadly, the world is not just about pretty outfits. (we all wish it was)…I want to say that racism happens primarily in the South, but really it's not true. There might be in general more racists in the South perhaps just because of the history. You'd think that those learned college students would know better, but most of the time that is not the case. Just because a college institution is "liberal" doesn't mean the students attending that university is "liberal minded". From what I have learned, you are "liberal minded" only by choice, and it's sad to see people not choosing that. Because in my opinion, you can always CHOOSE to learn about other cultures and as a person you can change from being racist to being more understanding and welcoming. With that said, racism is unavoidable. I've found that it follows me everywhere, even in Paris, my most beloved city.

  8. It is so disheartening to hear these kinds of things yet it's a reminder that we still have work to do. We've come far, but obviously not far enough. I tried that dress and it didn't do anything for my hips. On you, it looks DEVINE!I know the Milwaukee store has several of this dress in the sale room. And didn't it recently get a second cut?! Oh, how I wished it worked for me!!

  9. Oh, don't worry Anon @ 12:19am! There's racism everywhere. AND I was NOT singling out southerners! My cousin lives in a town in PA and my nephew is being bullied simply because he is Asian. A race the town has very little of. He's been bullied ever since he moved there when he was 8! It sucks being the target and unless you've walked in someone shoes who's been hurt by racism…you'll never know how terrible it feels.

  10. I'm in a mixed relationship myself (Asian and the BF is Irish/mix) and I don't know this speaks poorly for me, but I've heard so many comments like that through my life that I've degraded to just letting stuff like that go, unless it's something directed at me.It's sad to think that in the times where we are now that people (ALL people) still have lingering resentments based on race in their hearts that sometimes cloud their judgments.In a totally different direction – Dea, you look fabulous in that dress and make me wish I took the bait when it went on sale. Plus, those shoes! I think between seeing you and Amy in those shoes, I must get them now! You gals are such "enablers."

  11. Gemma- I'm really sorry to hear that for both you and your husband, especially as you're about to go and get yummy food! It's interesting how sometimes people don't know how to express their fear or curiosity and rely upon anger or rudenessTara B- I'm with you that it's really sad when you see such hatred among young people that are still learning about who they are and what the world is all about. And yes, even if racism is not directed at you, being around it is offensive enoughAnon- First, it's great to hear that you come around and check out the blog, as I am appreciative of everyone who drops by, especially when they take the time to leave a comment as it gives me a chance to get to know you. Second, want to clarify that since moving to this country, I have always lived in "the South" and while have traveled to other states, the history of the Civil War has uniquely affected this particular area and gives some justification to preserve hate. Racism and discrimination occurs all over the world in various forms, but I emphasized "southern-plantation" racism to illustrate the mindset that exists among some, again I emphasize some, individuals in this area. I'm disappointed by your assumption that I assumed all southerners think this way, because I know for a fact this is not the case due to the hard work many place on eradicating such negative behavior. And as for assuming on what my readers and I think of the south, it's important to note that it's easy to mis-interpret messages from people you've never met, but neither read mentioned any negativity towards the south, simply shared experiences in this area.Coco- I thought the same thing: if someone is preparing your food, keep it pleasant and don't mess with them!! hehe It was very pathetic and sad to see. But important to be a part of as it makes the issue more pressing, as if it already wasn't!Tara B- I've got two words for you:preach it!Eunice- thanks lady and yes, I'm sorry as well about the racismSidewalk Chalk- I'm so impressed by your poise during that interaction because this person caught you in such a vulnerable and delicate situation when you were working and around your co-workers. It's such a challenge seeing someone in a position of authority say such hurtful and disparaging comments.angela- I love everything you said and completely agree. I don't want to ruin it by adding anything more, but just know that what you shared is very very well-saidpamela- I completely agree with you that it was a sad situation and that a lot more work needs to be done. And thanks so much for the sweet comments about the dress!gemma- again, I'm sorry that your nephew has and is experiencing discrimination and really appreciate your feedback. I definitely agree that until you've had personal experience, it's hard to speak in theory.

  12. Incredibly lovely outfit, but that racist comment would have made me SO ANGRY as well! I went to an international school and I just don't understand racism at ALL. Every individual is completely different – you just can't generalise about a race. And it's not physically possible to "hate" (or feel any emotion) towards an ENTIRE RACE. That's just so ignorant! It makes me livid!

  13. Angela's comment and Dea's last message really hits the nail on the head. People *choose* to be ignorant, to be mean. Also, since I've consistently been in a bi-racial relationships for the last 6yrs (and am in one now- my bf is Asian, I am not)- and it's true, you really don't understand how offensive racist remarks can be if you've never been privy to them. Southerners certainly aren't the only racist folk, I mean I've heard plenty of Asian people say racist things about non-Asians (such as myself), and I've heard people of my own ethnic background making racist comments about others. The only common denominator is the unwillingness to open one's mind.

  14. I'm sorry that ugliness came at the end of such a lovely evening:( I'm half of an interracial couple and we've had our share of dirty looks and nasty comments. It makes me so, so sad.ps-you look lovely:)

  15. Courtnee- I'm in the same position as you and at times have noticed people stare a bit longer than normal but that's their issue, and just like you, I think it's sad.Peggy- no worries, it's only one dress, and there are other pretty dresses that will flatter your hips!

  16. Ugh, I HATE it when there is such ignorance in the world. Unfortunately, this isn't a new or old problem, but I do feel that great progress has been made. Let's hope heaps more progress will be made to eliminate such intolerance! I've had racist comments directed at me, my friends (of all backgrounds and creeds), my family, and overheard racist remakrs being directed at people I don't know. And this goes both ways. I've also heard my family make racist remarks towards others as well. It's heartbreaking. I normally take remarks made towards myself in stride — people who make those remarks don't know me and will never know me and the last thing I want to do is waste my time trying to set them straight. But it IS infuriating nonetheless. Maybe the guy yelling about the salsa WAS wronged — maybe he WAS overcharged (I don't know if he was or not) — but that's still no reason to drag racist remarks into his argument.

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