08 March 2006

A "Crash" Moment

In case you have not yet seen it (and you really should), "Crash" is a movie about different types of people and the different types of racism they endure and inflict. With that fantastic film fresh in my mind, I found myself in the following situation:

After pumping gas at a self-serve station, I returned to the window for my change. The (white) woman in front of me was having trouble getting her change. The (east Indian) woman working the counter clearly had only a slight grasp of both English and mathematics. While I (white) and the woman in front of me helped this Indian woman through the math, a (white) man got in line behind me.

Once the Indian woman comprehended the correct change, the man behind me said "I would have cheated her for not knowing that (the correct change amount)."

So, there I was, in a "Crash" moment. In a flash I reviewed my options:

1: Say nothing. It is none of my business.

2: Grunt something unintelligible that is neither an agreement or disagreement.

3: Turn and tell the man behind me that he should be more sensitive to people who are not as capable as he is -- and risk the chance of being shot.

What would you have done? I'll tell you what I did in a later post.


Matt Hinrichs said...

I would have just ignored him. People say dumb things all the time, and besides he was probably referring to her lack of math skills - not how she was East Indian.

kris said...

I would probably have said nothing, and then five minutes later I would have thought of something BRILLIANTLY WITTY that I should have said to cut him down and then I'd have felt bad all day for being such a passive, racism-enabling creep.