Fit vs. Fiction's Blog


Did she really just say that?? My experience w/ Prejudice at the Toronto airport

Posted in Uncategorized by fitvsfiction on September 17, 2012
Tags: , , ,

As I’ve mentioned, I flew into Montreal for my summer camp reunion this past weekend and it was AMAZING. What wasn’t amazing, however, was the experience I had with the nasty couple who were in line ahead of me at the security gate.

The couple were in their 5os and seemed fairly pleasant until it was their turn to place their belongings in the white bins and send them down the conveyor belt. The woman sneered at the young, asian security guard and said with annoyance, ” Do ya think you could pass us some bins?!”

Really? Was that tone neccessary? Seemed pretty rude to me.

Then the guard told the couple they needed to place their jackets in the bins as well.

“WHAT DID SHE SAY??” barked the woman, who was far more confused by this request than any sane person would have been.

“I DON’T UNDERSTAND WHAT SHE’S SAYING. WHAT DOES SHE WANT ME TO DO WITH MY JACKET??” Then she put it in the bin.

UGH.

She was not a nice person.

At this point, I kept smiling and rolling my eyes at the young guard as if to say, “Don’t worry about her, she’s a tool.”

Next was the walk through. She walked through the scanner and beeped. (of course she did). With a huge, irritated sigh she stepped back and walked through again. And beeped again.

Another guard (whose ethnicity happened to be different than hers) asked her if she was wearing a belt.

“NOOOOOOOO! I am NOT wearing a belt! This is stupid.” she answered through gritted teeth.

Walk through attempt # 3

Failure #3

I thought she was going to LOSE IT, until the guard asked, ” Do you have your phone on you?”

oops.

“Oh. Ha, ha. I forgot that my phone was in my pocket. sorry. Isn’t that funny?”

Actually, NO. It wasn’t funny at all, ya Numskull.

She finally gets through and it’s time to pick up her bag. The young guard asks her to open it. Uh..oh. Turns out she had a bottle of liquid that was OVER the size limit allowed.

“Oh, come on! It’s just syrup for my grandson! It’s his Jelly Belly syrup!”

gross.

“Can’t I just take it?”

The officer says she can’t and tells her she’s sorry, but it will have to stay behind.

She KNEW the rules. We ALL knew the rules. Apparently, she felt the rules didn’t apply to her. Just as I was grabbing my bag from the conveyor belt and was ready to finally leave the company of this obnoxious woman and her husband, she turned to me and said…

(ready for this?)

” It’s so SAD that in this country, there aren’t more WHITE faces working here!”

Oh….my….Lord.

At this moment, I thought about how disgusted I was by her comment, but also about the fact that this couple was very aggressive and would be out of my life forever as soon as I walked away. I didn’t have to say anything. But then I remembered a post I shared last week, written by my friend, Lori day, about how horrible she felt when she was in a situation with people she didn’t know, who were saying racist things she didn’t condone, yet chose to say nothing. The shame she felt afterwards inspired her to share it with others as a way of reminding herself that by not speaking against something you don’t believe in, is equal to condoning it.

I have always been grateful to my mother for raising her kids to believe that we are neither above nor beneath anybody else and that ALL people deserve acceptance and respect.

After a short pause, I looked at this woman and simply said, ” Actually, it’s because we live in this country that I’m happy not to see only white faces. I LOVE the diversity!”

The woman looked at me with disappointment and then said, “Well, that’s just my humble opinion.”

Then she said nothing at all.

Believe me, I don’t believe for one second that my comment in any way, changed the way she feels about people who don’t look like her. But maybe, it’ll keep her from assuming that everyone who looks like her also thinks like her and maybe she’ll keep her ignorant, hurtful comments to herself.

 

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5 Responses to 'Did she really just say that?? My experience w/ Prejudice at the Toronto airport'

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  1. publiusrex said,

    Good for you! As an African-American male, I am not treated to this kind of racism, so I appreciate those of you who are and who take the opportunity to “Do the Right Thing.”


  2. Awesome! We should all respond with kindness and truth which is what you did.


  3. Be not silent. A Holocaust survivor taught me that. Be not silent.


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