In the last ten or so years, what’s the worst, most blatant example of bigotry or discrimination you have either experienced or personally witnessed? Racism, sexism, homophobia, discrimination based on religion or lack thereof…any or all of the above may apply.
“Individual level” examples preferred - meaning that while, say, you may think a law against gay marriage is discriminatory (and I would agree), for this thread a more one-on-one experience of homophobia would be more relevant, such as a run in with a gay-bashing neighbor or colleague.
I was over 50 in an industry that traditionally values new and shiny and trying to find a job during a recession.
I caught a cab in the West Village of Manhattan (a traditionally gay friendly area) and the cab driver noticed a billboard with two men on it that was an ad for a dating site I think. He said that he thought the ad was disgusting, blah blah blah. I stopped listening and asked him to please just drive me to my destination. I personally am not gay, but he obviously had no way of knowing that.
Kids wheeling a lawn mower to my house because they thought one of my kids was Mexican and apparently all Mexicans are gardeners.
An adult making racial slurs directed at the heritage of my children.
The 2008 presidential campaign was disgusting in its racial slurs and innuendo.
One of our JDR judges can be a real dick. She lit into an obviously MtF transgendered parent for no discernible reason other than “why don’t you stop embarrassing your kid with all your dresses.” It was gross. On another day she lit into a Latino father about assimilation, and how “in this country” we don’t encourage children to date adults. For the record, the guy’s 17yo son had a 19yo girlfriend. It was shameful.
Personally? Getting the shit beat out of me or harassed whenever I walked through the ‘bad part of town’. Also me and my group being attacked in the mall by three black guys. Including my GF at the time being beat over the head with metal chairs. Security let them go…cops took 30 minutes to show up. Had that been three white guys beating a black girl over the head with chairs in the middle of a mall in front of 30 people who didn’t lift a finger to stop it?..You could read about that shit on Wiki right now.
Generally? The continued marginalzation of American Indians.
Want Yawkey Way renamed? Want the N Word banned from the NFL? I’ll sign right up for that the second Columbus Day is removed and the 20 dollar bill is changed.
Let’s see there there were the professors that when they couldn’t find the particular (rare, but popular) books they wanted accused me of illegally selling library materials on-line (because all Roma are thieving con artists ready to pounce on the huge profits available in the out-of-print book market)
The African-American liquor store owner who pulled out a shotgun and ordered me out of his store because my people always steal. That shotgun was the only reason I didn’t yell back “Isn’t that what rednecks always say about your people, asshole?”
Got told my culture was racist because we considered touching women without their permission a serious violation of good manners.
Spent hours on the phone trying book a site for a family wedding reception and had to pay twice the usual amount in security fees to finally get a place because too many vendor guessed my ethnicity and I’ve honestly considered (and ultimately rejected) suing certain reality television shows as a result.
Well, I suppose the woman that accused me of putting an evil eye curse on her child who had been diagnosed with some sort of retardation or mental problems is probably the funniest. Apparently, I had ordered her to leave one of my shops sometime in the past. (I’ll bet it was because said child was screaming at the top of its lungs.) I heard from friends in the local police department (yes, she went to the police before it was over), that they ended up calling children’s protective services.
I’m happy to say that I’ve never experienced anything too awful. When I was living in Chicago there were two incidents that I can remember - one was a guy on the street asking me if I had any eggrolls and another was also a guy on the street calling me Suzy Wong. One or two similar incidents in Belfast.
In Korea my husband and I very infrequently get dirty looks, but for the most part people are very nice, if a bit nosy. One time a kid walked up to us and announced “look, it’s a multicultural family!” (at the time the government had been running a lot of “multicultural family” PSAs on TV).
In the job market both in the US and Korea, I’ve occasionally run into discrimination because of my nationality. I’m an English teacher with a Korean passport, so sometimes people refuse to believe that English is my first language.
The new owner of my old favourite kebab shop up the road just completely ignored me and served people all around me until I got bored and left. Idiot, weight lifting dykes eat a lot of meat. The guys in the other shop now love me. I noticed the window boasting new new owners not long ago, they didn’t last long.
Too late to edit, I am actually really happy that was the worst I could personally find, it was very different in the 70s through 90s
Personally: the woman (in her “defense”, mentally ill, I think) who turned around and called me a “nasty fat nigger” as she got off the bus.
Witnessed: a tie between a) the guy a few months ago who started verbally assaulting a group of business people on the street who looked Asian, accusing them of being Chinese and spewing every horrible thing about the Chinese he could think of, which largely consisted of “Fuck China,” and b) the police office who took me for a ride to identify someone who had done a hit-and-run, and after I identified her and asked if she’d just lied to them about what she’d done, replied, “Yeah, she was just being Asian.”
Nothing directed at me, but witnessed, I have two that come to mind:
1)There’s a very ‘out’ politician in Wisconsin. During the election season she wanted to have a party/dinner at a local restaurant. They wouldn’t let her because she was gay. I looked at who ever it was that told me that and said “Well, I’ll never eat there again”. I mean, if that’s the way you feel, whatever, but you’d think, in this day and age, you’d find some other reason to not have her host the party there. It would have been easy enough to say you don’t like her because she’s a lefty and you’re republican.
2)During Obama’s initial election, I heard a lot of (black) people (IRL but mostly on the news) saying they were specifically voting for him because he was black. They didn’t know his politics, didn’t care, they just wanted a black president in office. On the one hand, I do get that, I honestly do. OTOH, that’s as bad as all the people (and there were plenty, I’m sure) that voted against him for no other reason then because he’s black.
Wait, just thought of one. I was at work, heard some commotion in the store but I just thought someone was being too loud on their cell phone and sort of ignored it until someone came and told me that I needed to come defuse a situation in the store. I went out and found a Muslim woman crying/yelling at a man saying “I’m an American, I own a business, I pay taxes, I can wear anything I want” and man shouting back “you’re in America you shouldn’t be allowed to wear that stuff”. I booted his ass out of the store as quickly as I could. Calmed her down as much as I could, but she was really worked up. She ended up calling the police over it. Apparently at one point he either shoved her or slammed a door and it hit her, I’m not sure, but she got his plates and filed a report. I have no idea how it played out. I told the guy he wasn’t welcome in the store anymore.
Something that I always think is interesting about that situation. The rights that allow her to practice her religion and wear the clothes she wants to wear are the same rights that allow him to tell her he doesn’t think she should be allowed to wear those clothes.
As a hetero white male I generally only see racism from the other side. For instance, when I was in high school my dad got me a job as a delivery boy for a video rental place that a friend of his owned. When I called up the shop to talk to the owner and set it up, I heard his conversation with the clerk about firing their current delivery boy to make room for me: he described me as a “good clean white kid” (and this was clearly a selling point, not just stating a fact). This would have been roughly 1996, in New York City.
I suppose the right thing to do would have been to tell him to stuff the job, but I was 15 and it had been arranged through my father, so I didn’t come close to having the nerve. It’s worth noting that I sucked at that job, and the Dominican kid (or whatever) that they let go was surely a lot better at it. I only lasted a few weeks.
In general, as a WASPy-looking white male, other such folks are often unguarded around me. I never hear misogynistic talk, or even anything homophobic; I do hear racist crap with some regularity, however. Not all the time, of course, but several times a year someone says something that makes me cringe.
A stranger called me a nigger once. Um. I won’t go into why that incident was bizarre on several levels, just trust me, it was.
A couple days ago I was ordering at a Subway restaurant in Manhattan. The guy behind me in line says, “You’d be prettier if you smiled more. You’re going to be old before your time.”
“Mind your own business,” I say.
“Fucking lunatic,” he mutters.
I turned and stuck a finger in his face and repeated “Mind your own business!” I kinda wish I had cussed him out or had some great comeback, but that was the best I could do. You wanna talk ugly? Sexism is fucking ugly. It’s not my job to smile and be pretty for random strangers every minute of every day. I paid for my food, snatched it up and stormed out of there.
I may have mentioned this in other threads, but I am Asian and my last girlfriend was a blonde, which meant we got ogled and yelled at a lot around DC. A couple of years ago a guy leaned out of his car while we were walking down the street and screamed, “Lose the Asian!” Another time a woman (!) poked her head out of her window and yelled, “Asian guys suck!”
In my country, it’s not so much color (thought ‘fair’ is favored.) It’s more about apparent wealth, status, and deportment. Since I look dark and often dress poorly, I just effect an American accent to the guards/bouncers.