Back in India, I never understood the concept of looking at people as native or immigrants. I came to the US with the same mindset – we are equal. On my recent trip to Key West, my belief was shattered:
I was at the Moondog Cafe and a couple of ladies kept staring at my friend’s and I, with utter condescension and pity. I felt awkward at first , and eventually gave them a firm look. One of them said hi, and asked us about our work. We said we worked for Amazon and Microsoft back in Seattle. She was quick to comment, ‘I am sure you must me lower level employees. Actually, my husband is a VP at Microsoft. You guys look like jerks’.
Well, I decided to call the Manager, but to my surprise, the Manager said this – I believe the ladies were just talking about lower level in terms of employment. No harm there.’ And then the women went on to say that people like ‘us’ create a scene to get free food. I called 911 but the officer said they couldn’t help if there was no threat made.
We left the cafe. We realized we were dealing with people who have been brainwashed to fear dibersity. But you know what hurt us the most? That it is 2021, and this is ACCEPTABLE. That no one stood for us. And that if this happened to us, this must be happening to millions of other immigrants who work day in and out to make this country great.
No matter where you live, I’m writing this to urge you to speak up against such racism. To speak for equality, for we may be different but we are better together.