This happened yesterday evening. Walking out of a supermarket I noticed a small group of young men. They noticed me as well, pointed at me a couple of times and laughed. I just walked on minding my business.
Then one said “Guys, let’s try this! Hey, Paki!”
Well, I just walked on, without acknowledging that. I figured they would get cocky (“Oh-ho, so he’s frightened!”) if I made eye contact, and maybe risk an attack, so I just walked on.
So I’m fine and dandy, only just now I realize the stupidity of thinking “Gosh, he’s not a member of our tribe! Let’s lambast him!”, and fearing those that look or behave differently.
What happened to me is a small thing, a very small thing, I’m aware of that, but it really opened my eyes. First I just dismissed racists in particular and prejudiced people in general as stupid, but now I’m aware of their fear, and of the need of transforming it into some kind of ego-boosting activity.
There’s a funny thing: I’m Italian. But I have to say I have been mistaken for Indian, Greek, Iranian, Portuguese, Turkish and yes, Pakistani (more than once), by other Indians, Greeks, Iranians, Portuguese, Turkish and Pakistanis. It doesn’t happen much now - after two years in England I’m really paler - but I found it sort of heartwarming when it happened.