Falls Church, VA.
I am a white American female with multiple disabilities. I realize that generally speaking, my whiteness and U.S. citizenship is a benefit for me in society. But recently, I had several experiences where a person of another race assumed something about me that was false, and it pissed me off. In the last case, a Doctor from some Asian country refused to prescribe me meds I desperately need. During the visit, I casually asked him where he was from (partly since I grew up in Asia and lived there as an adult). He never answered and used my question against me to suggest I was being prejudiced even though I have spent thousands of my own dollars and hours helping people from developing countries. I have had all kinds of health problems as a result of living in developing countries. I knew the risks involved in traveling to those places so I do not blame the citizens of those countries for my problems. But when I come back and some person who makes ten times the money I make in a year, plays the poor innocent victim and wants to portray me as the oppressor even though the opposite is true, it pisses me off. I am the one who is unemployed, disabled, and female. He is just Asian. Wow, that sounds like a real rough life.
A few weeks before that another woman told me “I crossed the line” when I asked her coworker if she had trouble understanding English. I was not attempting to be rude. I speak several languages and the woman would not answer my question which I had repeated several times, so I figured I would try to find out why. I did not want to assume she spoke Spanish or any other language because I felt that if I tried speaking to her Spanish, and she did not understand, she might become even more confused. After explaining my feelings, the woman who hurled the accusations at me finally said “Ok fine, it was a misunderstanding” and was nice.
But the Asian Doctor never said anything to suggest even the slightest bit of empathy. His actions made me feel totally distraught and disgusted. I do not consider myself any more or less racist than anyone else. I used to enjoy being around immigrants and people from other countries. Now I feel they have twisted my questions into something nefarious, and I wonder if this is a pattern I will see increasingly more perhaps as a result of backlash towards the politics of Donald Trump or maybe for some other reason. If so, I may start avoiding not just immigrants but people in general (since many if not people where I live are immigrants).