Do you work in tech support?

Kishna Vaghasia,
Grand Blanc, MI

Both of my parents are Indian and basically so is my entire family. This made growing up in America decently hard because, well it’s different hanging out with Indians because not much is known about them. Throughout my entire life, the number of Indian jokes I’ve heard have been plentiful, most of them being the same thing but in different wording (be creative), but some stick with me to this very day.

In 8th grade, I remember being in line during Black Friday at a JCPenny, I can’t remember the road it was on. My family and I were standing in line patiently waiting for our chance to go inside and shop, until a white lady, mid-60s I would assume, came up and tapped my dad on his shoulder. I kid you, not the first words she said to use were “Are you the 7/11 brown or the 9/11 brown”, now being in 8th grade this didn’t instantly click for me but it did for my parents and I could just see the rage in their eyes but they can’t do anything about it because they didn’t wanna create a scene. So they just calmly went about their shopping without thinking about it too much.

Now that I’m older, I realized just how messed up that was. Not only was she racist towards us and the Muslim community, but she thought that was a completely normal way to start up a conversation: by being blatantly racist. Would I have done anything differently if I knew this? Probably, I would’ve stood up for my parents and calmly explained to the lady that this isn’t how you ask people their race or start up a conversation.


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