Wednesday, April 25, 2012

!@#$% non-Asians say to me Episode 2

So, this past Sunday, I had to go to Tucson and spend the night to cover a breaking story on a 6-year-old girl who was possibly abducted. When I was finally allowed to sign off the first day and go look for lodging, I went to the nearest decent hotel, Embassy Suites.
As luck would have it, they have a complimentary breakfast buffet. So Monday morning, I wait outside the dining room for them to open at 6 a.m. (I had a 6:30 a.m. news conference to get to) They open the doors and I'm like the second customer. I of course say hello to the staff.
There was this old man with glasses, a hotel employee. English wasn't his first language. Not sure if he was Eastern European or something else. Anyway, he's standing by the door like a greeter. So of course I say "Good morning" pretty clearly. Then, out of the corner of my eye, I notice some movement. I'm like "What's he doing?" The guy is BOWING to me. I didn't get it at first until he said "O-hi-O." Oh boy....then he says "Aren't you visiting from Japan? Or are you from China?" I almost yell through gritted teeth "PHOENIX!"
Seriously, don't people get that it's a bad idea to assume that kind of stuff? I don't know if my press badge around my neck somehow made me look more "foreign." Must be my 'slanted' eyes.


Anonymous said...

Holy moly. You should title these "Incredibly Racist Encounters in Phoenix."


Anonymous said...

I think you are looking at this incident incorrectly. I think this gentleman was trying to be respectful and courteous to someone whom he mistook for a foreign visitor, and considering where he works, he probably runs in to quite a few visiting foreign tourists. Sounds like he was trying to be friendly and make someone whom he thought to be far from home more comfortable. Perhaps you are the one being "racist" by being overly sensitive to perceived slights against your heredity. Embrace who you are and have fun with it. Don't be so quick to assume that a person's actions or words are meant to demean you. Basically, chill out.