First of all: No.
Not OK to say in public. Not politically correct. Asking me, NAY, telling me that it must have been made in my homeland, Beijing? Um, squeeze me???
Not that it’s any of your business, but I was born in the good ol’ Midwestern state of Illinois. Not even the Eastern end of it, you jack . . . o’lantern.
I’m kind of upset. I didn’t grow up being racially profiled, or racially harassed–I wasn’t even picked on (maybe I was and I didn’t know it. It’s quite possible that I didn’t know it. Sweet, simple Lisa). So to hear comments like this in my mid-twenties, it’s a little baffling.
When that man made the comment, my initial thought was you’re an idiot, do you mean Belgium? Beijing isn’t in France, dumb-dumb.
My coworker, though, asked me if the group of jocular, middle-aged white men had insulted me, which had me all puzzled and confused. Yes, I heard Beijing mentioned, but there were just so many other people waiting in line that the comment didn’t register. Not until we discussed what occurred.
There was this red hot embarrassment that broiled in my face and my ears. But why was I embarrassed? That made no sense.
Kathleen Kelly (Meg Ryan) in You’ve Got Mail unknowingly emails Joe Fox (Tom Hanks) about how she’s never able to say what she wants when she wants to say it. Even after the incident, she’ll replay it in her mind and think of things she could have said.
That is what I’m doing right now.
And all I’ve come up with is nothing. The red hot embarrassment is more of a fury and indignation now. (Though I don’t necessarily care–I just wish those men would feel ashamed of themselves for being so incredibly ignorant). Seriously, is this real life? How can you think it’s OK to make that sort of comment? May I assume that you were a slave owner then? Should I assess, based on the color of your skin, that you have raped and slaughtered people who don’t look like you? Might I be correct in stating that you are some backwater hill billy living in a trailer park, getting drunk and beating your wife and kids at night?
No. Because that’s such a backwards way of thought that doesn’t belong in the 2000’s.
Really? Beijing? Did I stutter? Could you not understand me through my thick Chicago accent?