Dear Old White Lady in the Grey Eco Car,
Let me tell you what was really going on on April 9th.
I’m sorry that my skin color makes you angry. I apologize that my clothes aren’t of privilege. It really stinks that I drive a crappy little old car, but you should not judge me for my appearance and treat me like I am nonequivalent to you. We have just met and you know nothing about me. I am a highly independent young woman. I work two jobs, as a paid intern at Kaiser Permanente and as a barista on weekends. I pay for everything I own, including my car that you just hit. I pay that insurance that you probably think I couldn’t afford, because I budget well. And most of all, I did not need a little old white lady, slamming into my car, and ridiculing the way that I look, dress and talk. All the information that you needed was my name and policy number, but thank you for opening my eyes to how horrible people can still because on April 9th, 2016, you won the award for rudest person on the block but thanks for driving an Eco car. Its good for the environment but your attitude isn’t.
So, here is my story:
Two weeks ago, I was holding on to my check so that I would not spend all of my money on birthday shenanigans that my friends had planned for me all of that weekend. I had woken up two days later, and I finally had to face the real world to do my errands. My last stop on that particular errand run, before I was summoned back to my basic collegiate job as a Starbucks barista, was to go Wells Fargo to get my debit card replaced.
(Long story: I had an been such an idiot the day before and I forgot my beautiful purple customized debt card in an ATM machine. About two seconds after walking away from the machine, my bank emailed me and basically told me that I had screwed up and to go to a bank to get a new one. So I found myself waiting in line for a banker at Wells Fargo, in my sweats, a battered t-shirt, a sports bra and my honey blonde hair tied up into some type of bird’s nest. I basically looked like a bat out of hell.)
I finally got my card issued and was heading back to my apartment to get my uniform. I was coming our of the parking lot and I needed to take a left. Unfortunately, the stupid car would not let me in and the light in the intersection was changing and suddenly, there was a throng of cars whirling my way. I looked back and looked straight at the lady behind me and thought there was an understanding of moving back into the empty parking lot. Instead, as I was moving backward, she was moving forward. -WHAM- from literally two feet away.
Intermediately after, she was honking her horn as if I was not about to pull over. All I could think was *Dang, I’m not going anywhere*, as I pulled over my car and got out with my insurance card. The lady had a very unsatisfied look and the first thing that came out of her mouth, after the awkward silence passed, was “Are you even sure you HAVE insurance?”
She went on to ask me about if I went to school. She asked where I was from. She asked IF I WORK, and if so where. And it was not even feeling like a question to answer her questions. They were demands.
After this, all I felt was uncomfortable at the way that she was approaching me, and asking me personal questions that had no relevance with the accident. This was so rude and I was not sure if it is my racially questionable appearance, my lack in presentation in my attire or my shitty, old car (Betsey). But both way, she was so rude and it was not because I was being rude or that I was being unruly but because I did not look up to par with her probable standard of interaction. Everything from her adorable eco car, to her platinum blonde hair was a definite upgrade to my look the showed that I had obviously just had gotten out of my bed.
This is a perfect example of modern day racism and profiling. I did not know that it would come from another woman OR that it would come across as so vicious in such a public place. After looking online women can be some of the worst discriminators to other women. Some people actually think that white women are more racist than other races, using their statistics on who they date as an example.
In the current day, I have realized that we should really be paying more attention to people for who they are in their character, than the color of their skin or origin of their family. As a multiracial woman living in the modern day, I can only hope and wish that things get better and that people realize that all people and lives should be valued the same without creating, persuading and passing on these long string of injustices. These prejudices just make us look bad as people who claim to be reaching for the future. Our generation claims to be making a difference but keep building on past ways that obviously did not work for the last generation. I believe that we all have power to change this and hope that whoever reads this challenges themselves to see the problem and solve it, one person at a time. I challenge someone to teach another to see everyone as equal and important part of our society and to really expand someone else’s point of view on the subject.
Actions of people like this make it easier to make people feel unimportant and worthless and to be projected like this. Dehumanization. It sounds like such a strong and powerful word at which people would coward at the almighty sound of it, if they were ignorant to the meaning. These people are both right and wrong because, depending on how it is used and exemplified, this word can bring a whirlwind of sounds, emotions and memories to people who have experienced these things first hand. Most people think that dehumanization only happens in war and that we cannot find this in the real world, but they are wrong and these things happen more often than we would ever think.Dehumanization can come from many places, like bullying, domestic abuse, rape and other acts. It can also be more than just something to refer to by the perpetrator but it can also be conducted by people who see lewd acts and do not stand up for the victims. Dehumanization is alive in our current and ever-changing world and we need to take a step out of it and stand up for both ourselves and others so that we can change the way that we all act and treat each other.