Racism is terrible, there's no room for debate on that. But sometimes terrible things can also be terribly weird.
Today we're going to talk about instances of racism that left the victim confused more than hurt. Because, apparently, some people need to be told that Asian women are allowed to be named Lisa.
One Reddit user asked:
And fam, I cannot handle it. Some of these people legitimately seem like they mean well - which kind of makes things worse, honestly.
A Kobe Fan
Ok I'm a 17 year old half black male and I'm at the counter at McDonald's, taking orders and such and then this old guy comes up to the counter to order. This was a week after Kobe Bryant's death (I'm not exactly a sports person but it's important to the story)
So I do the usual "Hi sir how is your day going?" And what happened next was the most surreal customer experience I've ever had.
He goes BEHIND THE COUNTER and puts his hand on my shoulder and asks "Are ya a Kobe fan?" Not really thinking because this creepy old dude is right behind the counter I respond with a confused "Yes?"
He goes on to say "Oh I could tell by the color of your skin"
I was really uncomfortable and I nudged over for my coworker to save me and she luckily comes to my rescue by saying that I needed to go sweep and that she'd finish the order. That is still my weirdest customer experience to date.
To See How My Dark Skin Would Reactcoffee winks GIFGiphy
I have a few, but the one I was most confused about happened when I was at the mall. I'm a dark-skinned Black woman and I live in Canada. Even though it's a predominantly white country Black people do exist and it's very multicultural and multiracial so this incident can't even be thrown to a "never seen a Black person" territory.
So, I was at the mall with my sister going down the escalator and there was this white woman behind me holding a coffee in her hand. So as we're going down I feel a light touch on my back and I turn around and she just looks at me in shock.
I realize she was trying touch my skin. This is not that uncommon as many people touch me or my hair without my consent which is another story entirely.
I let it go cause I didn't want to assume anything and it could have been an innocent touch. So I turn around. And all of sudden I feel hot coffee on my back.
This women poured her coffee on my back intentionally. At first I thought it was accidental so before she says anything, I started to reassure it's okay, because who would purposely pour coffee on another person.
But she just keeps looking at the place she poured the coffee just repeating "Wow. I've never seen skin that dark. Wow. Wow. Look at how it slides down. So soft. Wow."
And then it clicks she poured it intentionally to see how my dark skin would react to the coffee. This incident still shocks me today and I just remember thinking....did that just happen?
Sing Something Black
I was asked to sing at a graduation event in college. I was asked because I have experience in musical theater and singing in general and they wanted a member of the faculty to do it.
The director of the faculty sent me at least 10 voice messages telling me what he wanted me to sing. It was just different forms of "something black". Like the first two audios he suggested like 10 black artists, then he said I should sing something from [a black city I am NOT from], then he said something about how it should honor my "roots", then he said he wanted me to sing something soulful, then he went back to mention other black cities he assumed my family was from.
The director and I are from the same city and live in the same neighborhood. By the end of it I was so confused. Also this happened last week and I still don't know what I'm gonna sing but I'm really into the idea of rickrolling him.
I was hanging outside a bar with my current boyfriend and a bunch of other people when an homeless woman sauntered up and said to my boyfriend, "Do you like sleeping with that gook with her sideways vagina?"
Everyone went quiet and she just walked away.
The weird bit was that I was the only person there that didn't know that the word was a slur. So I just stood there really lost after hearing some really old-timey racism.
We Just Wanted Dumplings
My friend's story not mine.
She was invited to another friends house for a dumpling party. It's where a bunch of friends get together and everyone brings dumplings. Everybody gets to eat some and take some home with them.
The host had a friend from school come as well and at the end of the night, that friend said, "Thank you for the cultural experience."
She was completely serious. Lady .. we just wanted dumplings. Sometimes woke goes too far. But now we say that jokingly to each other whenever we go get Chinese food.
Turn Out Your Pockets2 Chainz Pockets GIF by MOST EXPENSIVESTGiphy
My friend invited me over his house and his parents allowed me to stay the night. I was a teen at the time and during dinner his dad said if I wanted to sleep over he was cool.
Well the next morning before I left his grandma asked me to pull out my pockets before I left to make sure I didn't steal anything. To date I've never felt more dehumanized.
I know the feeling. I had cops with guns drawn on me, cuff and slam me on the hood of their car, pull everything out of my pockets and threw it on the ground. They put me in the back of the patrol car and asked what gang I was a member of. I told them the biggest gang in the world, the United States Navy.
They looked at my leave papers, apologized and said they thought I was part of an Asian gang and released me.
The Wrong Slur
Went to a bar while back visiting my hometown. Small town in the Midwest. Drunk, angry hillbilly looks at me and says "filthy wetback".
The brazenness took me off guard, so I wasn't even offended. After the situation sank in, I got my friends and we left, because who knows what a racist piece of sh*t and his friends might try to pull if we hang out too long.
Also, I'm Asian, so if he's not even smart enough to call me a ching chong and not a wetback, he's probably more dangerous than a normal racist.
I went to college at a diverse school - it wasn't like it was at all unusual to encounter Asians. One fresh September day, we have the first TA-led group session for a course.
I was one of the earlier students to arrive, so I chitchat with the TA. She praises my English in a patronizing way, which is a bit off-putting given that I've lived in this country for the vast majority of my life and speak English more fluently than any other language (and not to brag, but test scores and my eventual career suggest better than your average Canadian). I do not have any accent at all.
Once we're all settled, she goes around asking for names, and writes them out on the board to help her remember. When she gets to me, I say "Lisa".
She writes down... Lee Sah.
I laugh and tell her that it's spelled the usual way.
She responds that she's sorry, but she's not sure what the usual way is.
I finally get though when I say "like the white kind of Lisa."
I'm white, but have a good story:
A family member was (is?) convinced president Obama was born in Kenya and his birth certificate was fake. The family member's main "evidence" is that the hospital, Kapiolani medical center, sounds like a fake and made-up name.
One minor flaw in this logic: we lived in Hawaii for several years. We've been to Kapiolani Medical Center--it definitely exists.
As someone who grew up in Hawaii (ironically near Kapiolani), you'd be surprised how many people don't really know that its a part of the US. I've applied for jobs here in the mainland and I've had managers ask for my immigration papers or my passport when filling out my w2 forms.
Dreamy And Racist
Brown guy. I was with a girl I was dating. We had a tender moment ruined when, while cuddled in my arms, she said:
"Sometimes you think a race of people is not attractive and that you would never date one, but one comes along who is so incredibly pretty that he changes your entire world."
I sat there for a moment because she meant it as a complement and she was being all day dreamy in my arms while at the same time I realized how grossly racist it was
Kung Fu In Courtkung fu no GIFGiphy
Asian American, I was born and raised in the Midwestern USA and English is my first and only fluent language. I got a fix-it ticket for a burnt out headlight a couple years back and before getting it replaced I ended up getting carjacked at gunpoint. The guys ended up totaling the car in a high speed chase with the police.
A couple days later I go to my assigned court date for the aforementioned ticket and explain that I won't be getting my headlight replaced since, ya know, I got f*cking carjacked and had a shotgun stuck in my face.
The clerk to the judge (middle aged white lady) looks at me and with a straight face and says: "What? Don't you know kung fu?"
I don't think she meant to be malicious or racist but it's amazing that people are that daft. It's pretty messed up how open racism towards Asian people is just tolerated since we're 'model minorities' and considered to be timid and subservient.
Donuts And Respect
I went to this 24 hour donut/bagel spot. This woman approached me before I began sinking my teeth into a lox sandwich and said: "Just because you're Mexican doesn't mean you don't deserve respect"
That's it. Just said it and dipped. I felt like her intention may have been wholesome, but her execution was poor and came off as her trying to to convince herself that I'm deserving of respect.
Hoo BOY I have a particular confusing racism story I continually bring up:
I was working when a middle-aged white lady came up to me to ask some things. I answered her, it being my job, and she made a face and asks:
"Hey that's an odd accent you have, where are you from?"
I answered "Mexico"
and she said "Oh... you know you're quite tall and pretty handsome, you could get away with telling people you're Italian so you know..."
At this point she left. I was just frozen and baffled. She said this like it was earnest life-changing wisdom.
In America We Don't Do That
I'm an American born Asian. Freshman year of HS, this Mormon kid from Utah moved to my school in a wealthy and very diverse East coast suburb. Randomly, the Mormon kid would say something to me in passing as if in response to something I said or did to him earlier in the day. Except I never talked to the guy and had no idea what he was talking to me about.
I would just shrug and ignore his odd confrontations with me.
One day I'm sitting near all our duffle bags stretching between races at a track meet. The Mormon kid comes up to me and starts scolding and lecturing me that: "In America, we don't just go into other people's belongings and borrow stuff without asking. we have to ask permission, and if the answer is yes, then you can borrow something..."
He was literally explaining to me how I should behave since I'm in America now. I just give him an evil eye mixed with disgust and contempt for lecturing me about something I didn't do, as though I'm a newly immigrated 5 year old.
Still, I'm confused as f*ck about him, thinking he must be psychotic.
Ten minutes go by and another kid I barely know comes up and grabs a hat from the Mormon kids bag in front of me. It's an Asian kid, fairly newly immigrant from China. This kid is a good 40 pounds lighter than me. Completely different haircut. No resemblance to me at all other than also being Asian.
He tells me he's been f*cking with this racist Mormon kid since day 1. He's been pulling pranks like, in this instance, repeatedly taking his hat from his duffle bag and giving it to someone else to wear.
Racist Mormon kid thinks it's me pulling pranks on him this whole time, because he can't tell 2 completely different looking Asians apart from each other. I'm Japanese, tall, and have no accent. The prank boy is Chinese short, and has a very Chinese accent. I already mentioned the hair.
All I could do was shake my head Captain Picard Style.
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Remember the Dreamcast? If you don't, then you've been missing out. Sit down, sweet summer child, and listen up.
The Dreamcast was a console so ahead of its time that console has been a Dreamcast since there was a Dreamcast. Too advanced to match its competitors, not appealing enough to be considered part of the next generation. I have fond memories of that console. Crazy Taxi was a gem.
Not everything comes out at the right time. We heard about a few other examples after Redditor rentinghappiness asked the online community,
"In your opinion, what’s something that flopped because it was way ahead of its time?"
"It was vastly overhyped..."
"The original Segway. It was vastly overhyped, but now, we're seeing rental scooters and e-bikes change the way people get around urban areas. If the company had offered a Lime-style rental system from the beginning, the product might've become ubiquitous."
The problem with Segway seemed to be that they could not make them cheaply enough to fit into a reasonable personal transportation niche. They were the price of a small, used car. Not great.
"This was before major smartphones..."
"In 2005, two guys tried to create a service called “MyMobileMenu.” The idea was you could order food using a cell phone, similar to DoorDash."
"This was before major smartphones, so When that flopped, they later tried a new adventure and created a company you might’ve heard of: Reddit."
They actually started Reddit from the same code base and haven't updated the video player since.
"Brilliant show that perfectly toed the line between history and fiction. Extremely compelling characters and kick@ss cast. Wasn't very accurate but always authentic."
"Got way too expensive and was canceled after two seasons. If it had been released after GOT or any other epic show in this day and age and it would have been a smash hit."
James Purefoy as Mark Antony is one of my favourite performances from any media ever. What a show. We were robbed of so much further glory!
"An airline called Muse Air failed in 1985 largely in part because it was the first all non-smoking airline. Now everything is nonsmoking. It was purchased by Southwest and dismantled two years later in 1987."
And look at airlines now! Poor Muse Air.
"Those poor bastards waited..."
"Apparently Skype. Those poor bastards waited for the TV Guide channel to slowly scroll for years and just when what they were looking for showed up, they got distracted by the infomercial in the top right corner."
Somehow Microsoft bought it and despite consistently overwhelmingly negative feedback from users, its new director went forward with his own personal vision, and not only put in changes that no one wanted or asked for, but started stripping legitimate preexisting functionality out of the program.
"Sega Channel was such wizardry for the mid-1990s. It was like Christmas every month when they cycled in new games."
I remember this! It was so ahead of its time. It felt like being in the presence of actual magic!
"The movie tanked..."
"Videodrome '83. The movie tanked, but it was so spot on about people being addicted to media, ultraviolence becoming the norm, people adopting online personas, etc."
Truly... David Cronenberg is a twisted genius.
"It was the first commercial film to be shown in stereo and it used an early precursor to surround sound. WWII, high production costs, and the burden of building the sound equipment for showings prevented it from making any money at the time."
This is true! It's a spectacle that was definitely not appreciated at the time of its release.
"Smirnoff has been the laughing stock of alcohol for years. Now all of sudden everyone and their mother wants to drink fermented sugar drinks."
Funny how people came around – seemingly overnight.
"I distinctly remember..."
"The TV show Arrested Development. I distinctly remember the commercials for it and thought, Jesus that looks moronic. Fox chose the more obvious jokes to highlight and tried to make it seem like a zany hijinks type of comedy. They practically added slide whistles and “boing” sound effects to the commercials for it."
"Once I finally watched it I realized it’s brilliant. It was the first American show to do that style of comedy. Hand-held camera work, flashbacks, cutaways, etc. Which is ironic because later everyone would do it."
They made a huge mistake.
Arrested Development is a cult classic, a show made for streaming years before streaming was a thing.
You don't always realize you have a great thing going – and so much of success comes down to timing.
Have some examples of your own to share? Tell us more in the comments below!
Consumers who have money to burn often buy things they don't really need, like travel accessories, specialized sports equipment for an activity they've only done once, or even cookbooks, when plenty of recipes can be found online.
They might be missing out on buying things that could actually make life so much easier because it never occurs to them.
Curious to hear recommendations of items that can improve your life, Redditor icandoitw asked:
"What are some life-changing purchases that are 100% worth it?"
People thought it was worth spending a little extra for a better quality of life.
"Sounds simple but honestly, something as basic as a good pair of shoes that fit you well."
"A good mattress and pillow. We spend a third of our lives lying on it, why not invest in it? Anything that you use a lot, you should seriously invest in, like I have a $400 custom mechanical keyboard. People say I am crazy, but I use it every day, for hours on end, it’s my job."
"If you have trouble sleeping, a weighted blanket. I’ve gone from about 5.5 hrs average sleep per night to 7 hours average which is incredible for me, and I wake up feeling so well rested"
Better In The Dark
"Blackout curtains. Especially in the summertime, they help you sleep so much better."
"Good quality re-useable ear plugs. Soooo much better than the cheap foamy ones."
"They will definitely improve your life if you go to loud concerts. Filter our overtones so you can hear the music better at a loud punk show. Also hearing loss is irreversible and there's no cure for tinnitus."
Clear The Air
"For blind/visually impaired people: A smartphone. They literally are life changing, and can function as numerous separate and extremely pricy accessible devices and can do things like color and money recognition, text recognition, the uses are amazing."
"In general though, if you have allergies, especially seasonal or pet, AIR PURIFIER. When we bought our hous a few years ago, my allergies got so bad, we were almost considering moving, but then i bought an air purifier and it was so life changing, i got one for each floor of our house. One of the best purchases ever."
Life can be made easier with the help of these items.
"A second monitor."
"Suprised i didnt see this yet, but it improves productivity so much as you can have tabs open and type whatever you want on the other or even watch youtube etc."
Taking Stock In This
"3+ gallon stock pot. Boil pasta, potatoes, or whatever without a boil over. No more starch water burning all over the burner."
"a fully functioning computer."
"many people don't have one, they exist in phones or tablets, and holy sh*t they are missing out."
"Washer and dryer. No planning days and accumulating quarters for laundry. Just dump a load in a go about my business."
Save your back and your money by hiring people to do hard labor.
Refrain From Heavy Lifting
"paying for movers to do everything from pack to move all of it."
"never doing that sh*t again."
You Deserve It
"People really underestimate the power of this."
"At least in my social circle, for a long time it was just understood that if someone was moving everyone was showing up that day to lift and lug from house A to house B with the rich reward of beer and burgers after, as if it had all been some fun party everyone loved. This persisted even after people could conceivably afford movers."
"I personally think it is A LOT to expect of friends do that for you. Yeah, when you're young and you have three bags of clothes, two boxes of books, and a futon (and no disposable income at all), it's understandable. But paying for movers and then packers is something I did as soon as I had any money to pay for it. That is what money is for, it's not necessarily what friends are for."
The best pandemic purchase I made that was worth every penny was for several sets of free weights.
Once I canceled my gym membership, I invested in some dumbbells so I could follow YouTube workout videos in the comfort of my home.
They are not cheap; however, I'm saving more money in the long run without having to pay a monthly gym membership fee.
I've seen more gains from using the free weights and following an instructor on a monitor, and my motivation to work out is higher than ever.
If you find yourself plateauing at the gym, you may want to invest in making some changes to your exercise regimen that works for you.
You know, try as I might, I just can't bring myself to bother with The Walking Dead. I quit the show some years ago, probably around the time of that weird fakeout with Glen in the dumpster (and then his actual death right after that), but the truth is that the show was getting on my nerves for some time before that.
Did anyone actually care about all the nonsense going on with Deanna and the citizens of Alexandria? And can we go back a bit further and talk about how ludicrous Beth's death at the hands of some power-tripping officer in a hospital ward was? There was such a noticeable drop in quality after the third season that I questioned why I kept tuning in.
But this show is far from the only one to make people want to throw their remotes at their television screens. People shared their thoughts with us after Redditor regian24 asked the online community,
"What TV show was amazing at first but became unwatchable for you later on?"
The Walking Dead
"The Walking Dead."
"First few seasons were great with pretty good pacing. Later seasons devolve into telling one story at a time. They’d have a cliffhanger of a character maybe dying and do 3 weeks of other stories. By the time it gets back to the cliffhanger you have no idea what’s happening. That and it got repetitive."
See?! What did I tell you? After a splendid first season – one that could have been a standalone miniseries at that – the rest of the series just failed to live up to its initial promise.
"I watched every new episode of Glee when it came out and was slightly obsessed with the show. But as soon as it finished it all crumbled. The show makes no sense, is not good, and I could never rewatch it."
I just couldn't get into it. I found it grating. And the fact that the quality noticeably slipped afterward did not make my friends happy.
"Heroes: biggest drop in quality after season 1."
To be fair, the writer's strike really hurt that show's future. It never stood a chance after that – and my God, did I hear that that second season was horrible.
"Happy Days! Once Fonzie jumped the shark, while waterskiing and wearing his jacket, the show just got progressively worse."
This is the classic answer to this question. Gen Xers like me even use the term "jumping the shark" to refer to things that were once great but now suck.
"The Blacklist. So many loopholes and a never ending plot. I mean, the female hero (forgot her name) was wanted and had her pictures broadcast nationwide live, but a couple of weeks after she can do undercover work."
I couldn't even stand the first episode. I quit right after that. I could tell the quality was questionable.
"Arrow. It's what happens when you try to make so many seasons for a show meant for only a few."
This is true about lots of shows. The writers and executives just don't know when to quit.
Once Upon a Time
"Once Upon a Time. The first 3 seasons were good! And then after that they just kept getting worse."
People actually liked that show? I know, I know... I'm the worst. I just didn't see the appeal and it heard it got so ridiculous.
"A hilarious and intriguing show that slowly grew to be about a bunch of unlikable a-holes making bad, selfish decisions. When there's no one with any redeeming characteristics, there's no one for the audience to get behind."
It started out great but really started to go off the rails with characters making increasingly nonsensical choices. Nancy marrying the Mexican drug lord was the beginning of the end.
That '70s Show
"Not the worst offender, but That '70s Show tanked pretty hard once Eric left. He was sorely needed to make the chemistry of the group work."
Yeah, the way these characters continued to stick together even after that was just embarrassing.
House of Cards
"The first two seasons were amazing. After that it started to get progressively worse."
I would argue that even the second season began to stretch the limits of credulity. I lost interest after the fourth season (and both the third and the fourth seasons were a slog for me to get through).
There is some amazing television out there – I am currently making my way through Six Feet Under again – but there is even more disappointing television that should never make its way into your eyeballs.
Sorry if you've suffered.
Have some suggestions of your own? Tell us more in the comments below!
More often than not, what gets us to keep tuning in to our favorite TV shows, or drawn to certain movies, is to get a glimpse into various professions which fascinate us, but which we wouldn't ever want to work ourselves.
Needless to say, there aren't many people who find the Indiana Jones films to be a remotely accurate depiction of archaeology, or that the Jurassic Park films show what paleontology is really like.
But many people tend to watch iconic procedurals like Grey's Anatomy and Law & Order under the notion that they both give an accurate depiction of the medical field and the legal world.
Only, how accurate are they?
Redditor Just_Surround_2108 was curious to learn which professions have been documented on screen without as much research as one might expect, leading them to ask:
"What profession does Hollywood get completely wrong in films and TV?"
In case you had any doubts about hacking...
"Don't nobody code that fast lol."- lmoore0621
The better question is, what does Hollywood get right?
"Just about anything medical, including deaths."
"Just about anything dealing with space."
"Just about anything dealing with natural disasters."
"Actually, now that I think about it, I don't think Hollywood really gets anything right about anything."- Xyrus2000
"Especially in big firms, it’s a lot of just endless hours in front of a desk doing doc review."
"Sincerely, someone studying to do endless hours in front of a desk doing doc review."- geeeeeetarSeason 2 Nbc GIF by Law & OrderGiphy
For better or worse...
Don't let them in the operating room...
"Nursing."- buhzkillWake Up Coffee GIF by FOX TVGiphy
Drop that baton!
"Oh my god just take a lesson or two and learn how to hold the instrument right."- soysaucemmm
Crunching those numbers... incorrectly...
Accountants. I'm sorry, but the action Thriller "The Accountant" starring Ben Aff-lack, was in no way a true representation of my job. - User Deleted
Defying all laws of motion...
"It's hilarious how they act!."- Prestigious-Order-62back to the future 121 gigawatts GIFGiphy
At least depending on where you went to school...
If we're being honest, most people tune in to watch films or television shows to escape from reality, and aren't usually looking for a documentary on these professions.
Though, for anyone thinking they want to be a scientist after watching Back To The Future... you might want to really think that one over...