It's a plague many of us would rather not admit occurs on a daily basis.
Reddit user, u/Jamally1980, wanted to hear about:
When It Happens To Others...
You might be out, with a friend or a co-worker, minding your own business, never once considering what degree of person you'll meet. Then, BOOM. They're there, ready to make the person who you're with and their life a living nightmare.
Suddenly Changing Their Minds
I (WM) played in a band with an African American guitarist. We wrote songs together and became great friends. One day we went to a convenience market and there was a help-wanted sign on the door.
"Watch this," he said and went in the store to inquire about the job. 2 minutes later, he walked out and said with a sly grin, "The owner said they are no longer hiring. Now YOU go in."
I went in the store, and five minutes later, came out with an application.
"You see," he said. "You have no idea what it's like to be black."
30 years later, I still think about that day.
"Not even the correct kind of racist here."
My landlord thought one of my closest friends was some sort of hardcore latino gangbanger who was selling me crack. He's an asian IT professional who doesn't even drink. He was even coming over in his work clothes 99% of the time. We have a lot of jokes about that one. "Not even the correct kind of racist here."
Maybe They Shouldn't Be Around Kids
6th grade. This was mid/late 90s. Our teacher was telling us a story.
She said "this black woman without shoes came up my driveway and approached me. At first I was nervous because we don't have any black people in our neighborhood and I could tell she was homeless because she had a foul odor and she was black" and the black girl in class interrupted her and said "why does she have to be black for you to be nervous?"
The teacher responded, "because she was and we don't have black people in our neighborhood, and skin color matters Kelly."
It shook me up. It is a big commuter area close to some major cities and military bases so we had a diverse student body.
The next week our principal came in to explain the teacher was let go because of her racist remarks, and we had a week where we learned about diversity and how discrimination plays a part in so many lives, how it can affect populations, and how you can be aware of it.
Silly Reasons, Real Fears
I remember the first time I experienced racism. I'm Canadian but lived in England for a year when I was 8. I had a buddy from India. One time we wanted to play soccer at school over lunch with a group of guys. A boy said "you can play because you're from Canada. He can't play because he has brown skin". I was so confused and didn't know why skin colour made a difference. My friend was way better than me so I thought they didn't want to play with someone so good. I asked him if all people with brown skin are really good at soccer. He just said no, let's go play somewhere else. It wasn't until later that I realized why they didn't want to play.
Or When It Happens To You...
It's not always someone else, is it?
Most of the time you'll see racist interactions first-hand because they happen to you. You didn't do anything wrong, you might even have been out walking, but you feel it deep down in your gut when they direct all their hate and fury at you.
We Should Have You And The Missus Over Some Time
I was driving out of my gated community and a lady stepped off the curb and in front of my car yelling at the top of her lungs. She comes to the driver side and is like, "I see you driving through here, do you live here?". Her husband, not far behind, grabs her and proceeds to explain to her that I live literally around the corner from them. She then proceeds to ask me for my drivers license. As I laugh, I invite them over for drinks later. The husband thanks me as his wife continues to yell.
6 hours later, I walk to their house with a bottle of red wine and white wine (not knowing which they like). The husband answers the door, shocked, he invited me in, only to have his wife say, no. Embarrassed, he says he'll stop by later. Fast forward, he's one of my closest friends and she's still a raging [b-tch.]
At Least Get The Geography Of Your Insults Right
Old guy in his 70's walked up to me while at McDonalds and asked me "Is that your camel parked out front?" Took a moment to register that he was being racist. I told him that there wasn't a camel in the parking lot and that he should see a doctor about his senile dementia. I'm not even Arab or Persian. I'm Puerto Rican. If you're going to be racist, at least make the effort to get the race right. The only thing worse than a racist is a lazy racist.
We're Working, Here!
When I, Hispanic, was a landscaper, my boss and I were hired to do lawn work in a really nice neighborhood. I was approached by an angry elderly white man and he asked me what I was doing and told me I don't belong here. My boss, who was also white, had to come and basically f-ck off and told him we were hired and allowed on the property we were on.
...It's All Truly Terrible.
No matter how you slice it, discovering anyone's racists intentions isn't pleasant. You may not know what to say or what to do in that situation, but you'll know how you feel.
Finding Out Who The Racists In Your Life Are
Maybe it's a combination of being white with a shaved head, or maybe it's just being white, but sometimes folk feel very comfortable spouting off racist sh-t with me in the room. A common one is whining about "immigrants". On several occasions I've let people go on about their various stupid issues with The Immigrants, until I point out I am one.
Most of the time the whiner will awkwardly change the subject. One time a guy said "Yeah but you speak English!". Somehow I don't think language was his problem.
The most common trait I've seen among racist people is the assumption that most other people are as racist as them.
Seeing Their Biases Laid Bare
There was this convenience store near my elementary school that kids used to go to sometimes to get candy, snacks etc. A friend of mine (also black), told me I shouldn't go there because the store owner was racist, so I never went. Well one day I went in, and before I could even grab something, the guy yells at me to get out. I try to ask why, but he just kept yelling how he didn't want "us" in his store, even though I was alone. At this point, I was old enough to understand, and unfortunately has already experienced sh-t like this before.
Fast forward maybe a few weeks or so, I'm with a white friend of mine and we're walking on the same street as this store. He says we should stop in and get some sodas. I tell him I can't go in because the owner is racist and won't let me buy anything. My friend thinks that's ridiculous because the guy is always nice to him. So I tell my friend to go in first. He goes in, grabs a soda, buys it, comes back to me saying how nice the dude was and I had nothing to worry about.
I say okay, now lets both walk in. We both walk in and the dude has smile on his face until he spots me and his demeanor completely changes. He says something like, "Oh no, YOU (my friend) can stay, but HE (me) has to leave." My friend is like wtf why? The guy says, "I don't want "them" in this store! You're (my friend) fine though." I stand there just looking at my friend with the I-told-you face. My friend actually gets upset, starts yelling back calling the guy racist and so on, but I grab him and I'm like lets go before he calls the police. My poor friend was blown away because he thought the guy was so nice and friendly then boom! All of that erased in minutes.
If you ever find yourself in a spot like this, there's a few things to do: Talk to someone, anyone, whom you can trust. Make sure you're safe. Above all, don't engage or react unless you absolutely have to.
There's real love in this world. Go out and find that, instead.
It's easy to get caught up in the past.
...so long as we knew what time of day it was going to be on.
What's something nostalgic for your age group?
Video games today are horrible!
Give us a 2-dimensional side-scroller of an Italian plumber fighting a dragon monster and nothing else good for many more years after that. Who needs all these fantastic releases, year in and year out, every year?
How Do We Enable "Big Head Mode?"
"Up, up, down, down, left, right, left, right, b, a, select, start"
"My toddler son has a toy game controller that plays a little jingle if you put this code in. I loved that they put that little Easter egg into a kids toy and it makes my husband smile every time he does it."
When Was This Old? *cries in tired old man
"Anytime recently I've tried to get back into Minecraft it breaks my heart because the game just feels so different now. I played it from 2010 up until 2018 or 19 almost religiously, but the past couple years have really changed the game. I'm sure it's just as fun to play now, but it doesn't have that same nostalgia factor anymore like it used to."
Tests Of Parenthood
"Neopets in 2005"
"My girlfriend at the time made me take care of one as a test for being a father. Literally."
Some things you long for aren't actually possible to do anymore, leading to the reasoning this is why the nostalgia is at an all-time high. What's worse than missing something that no longer exists?
The Smell, The Sounds, The Sights, The Ambience
"Going to Blockbuster with my friends on a Friday"
"Renting cheesy horror movies and making fun of them with the group!"
You Can Miss That?
"Dial up modem noises"
"Kiiiiiiiiiiii…kiiuuuu…kiiiuuuu.. it was something like that right? I even forgot."
"And then I used to open yahoo login page and do some other work for few minutes and come back while it loads, and then enter id password, hit login and then get a coffee until it loads."
Illegal, But, Yeah
"I remember the really early days of mp3 sharing, before P2P came along. There were hundreds of FTP servers that you could connect to with huge libraries of mp3s. No domain name, just a raw IP address that you found somewhere on usenet."
"But they couldn't just give it away, because then everyone would take and nobody would give. So they had quota systems: you'd upload an mp3, and for every byte you uploaded, you'd get to download 2, or 3, or maybe even 5. And this was over dialup, so uploading or downloading a single file could take 30 minutes."
"But it was FTP. Very simple and dumb. There was no memory of your "credits" between sessions, so if you uploaded a bunch of stuff and then lost your connection, you were SOL."
"It amazes me to think how much time I spent getting a few songs that today I can play any time I want on Spotify."
For some people, this next section will sound silly.
For others, this was our childhood, which sadly (when you really think about it) revolved around a television schedule we had no input on, meaning we had to plan everything out around when the next episode of Power Rangers aired.
Cartoons After School Are The Best
"Anime on Toonami. Cartoon Cartoon Fridays"
"Toonami had really great western cartoons as well. I loved watching Samurai Jack, Ben 10, Teen Titans, and Clone Wars on Toonami growing up."
"Old Cartoon Network, spiky gelled hair"
"Old Cartoon Network" is an interesting answer because people are gonna have different ideas about what "Old Cartoon Network" is. I think of Ed, Edd n Eddy and Codename: Kids Next Door. Another commenter mentioned Gumball which is still well after my time."
When Life Revolved Around Someone Else's Schedule
"Born in the 70s, grew up in the 80s...I remember huddling around the TV as a family to watch certain things."
"For some reason, they would show The Wizard of Oz every year on network tv..and it was a big deal. My mom would make popcorn...in a pot on the stove (It was the 80's) and we'd sit on a blanket on the floor and watch."
Or Friday Nights....Dukes of Hazzard (when it was new). Mom would get takeout from Burger Chef...and we'd sit on the floor eating hamburgers watching 'dem Duke Boys at it again."
"Or in the summer....they'd show Creature from the Black Lagoon 3D on tv. 7-11 would give out free 3-D glasses."
"For the younger Redditors....this was well before any kind of streaming/on demand service...and back when cable TV and VCRs were still a luxury that a lot of people didn't have. So, you really only got to watch what was on the few channels that your antenna allowed."
"Another one is coming home from school to watch old shows like Gilligan's Island, The Munsters, The Addams Family, Batman, F-Troop."
"Or staying up late and at midnight....the TV would play the National Anthem....then show a control screen and just "BEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEP" like this: https://youtu.be/Cnchea6LHN0"
The good ol' days.
When determining how to spend our life in a way that feels worthy, many place a heavy emphasis on experiences. We want to die with scars and stories.
And sticking our necks out inevitably leads to a whole lot of struggle. But that doesn't mean we wouldn't do the same thing the very next day if we could go back.
Some things, though we'll never do them again, were too important an experience to pass up.
Redditor JackIrishJack asked:
"What should you do once, but not twice?"
Many people talked about the life experiences, big and small, that influenced their outlook. They recommend people go through some discomfort to gain important awareness.
A Capacity for Empathy
"Working in the food industry I feel like everybody should do it once so they can have a respect for food workers but it's also a hell I never want to go through again"
Paying for a Daydream
"Buy a lottery ticket"
"You're not going to win, but buying a lottery ticket gives you the chance to dream and pretend. Having a second lottery ticket isn't going to make your dreams more vivid."
Plenty of Implications
"Visit Auschwitz. I firmly believe everyone should go visit it so as to not forget what humans are capable of doing to each other. But no need to visit twice. Once was enough for me."
Others brought up things which, if done twice, would be a sure sign that something is very very wrong.
Supposed To Be Permanent
"Learning how to walk. The first time - good on you. Having to
relearn a second time means something went terribly wrong."
Only Two Sets
"Lose all of your teeth" -- Outrageous_Cream_112
"Haha I had to think about this for a second" -- ApplesauceDoctr
Don't Wanna Find Yourself There Too Often
"Get beaten half to death breaks the concepts of your limits. Second time breaks the spirit. Third time is overkill."
Others apparently viewed the question as an opportunity for a little cleverness.
If You're Good
"Cut...you measure twice before." -- wxguy215
"For me its more like 'measure twice, make sure it's just a teeny bit too long then go back and shave it off little by little until it wedges in perfectly' " -- pistpuncher3000
As the Saying Goes
"Fool me" -- Thia_suzieUzi
"FOOL ME THREE TIMES FU** THE PEACE SIGN LOAD THE CHOPPA LET IT RAIN ON YOU" -- nixusthegod
Only a Couple to Work With
"Donate a kidney" -- RealisticDelusions77
"Donate one kidney, you're a hero. Donate two kidneys, you're a corpse. Donate three kidneys, you're a felon." -- Drach88
"Be born. Going through the birthing process again would probably kill my mother." -- cylonrobot
Here's hoping we can all find the healthy balance between living a full, experienced life and punishing ourselves a little too much.
Whenever I visit clothing stores, I make it a point to fold the clothes I unfurl. That is apparently my downfall as a customer.
Because of this, fellow customers often peg me as an employee and always ask me questions like where the bathroom is, or if the store has certain sizes left in stock.
Umm, no, I don't work here. I'm just a responsible customer. As you were.
Many of us make assumptions about other people just by looking at them. Who knew we were so presumptuous?
Curious to hear the experiences of strangers online, Redditor lilmizzvalz asked:
"What do people assume about you, based on your appearance?"
People often misinterpret moods based on how someone looks. That's unfair, wouldn't you say?
"That I'm caring and supportive. I have a resting nice face."
"That I am always mad. Nope just dissociating and staring off into space."
Not Meaning To Be Mean
"That I'm mean. I have a resting mean face for a dude I guess. Also lately it's worse because I'm bigger now. I don't really notice how my face appears but apparently, I seem angry when I'm looking at stuff."
"'You should smile' and 'are you ok?' comments followed me from busboy, waiter, bartender my whole career."
When it comes to measuring intelligence of others, some people are just way off.
Hard To Live Up To Expectations
"That I'm clever. People keep saying it to me, but I'm dumb and that sh*t is hard to live up to."
"I have glasses."
Eyes Full Of Wisdom
"I apparently have something similar going on mixed with looking like I know sh*t, because people come up to me in public and ask about directions, bus schedules and stuff all the time. Like, they'll deliberately avoid other people to ask me. Including when I'm abroad and should look a bit out of place."
"They assume I have an intellectual disability. (And also that I'm deaf, since I'm not able to speak.)"
"No, I am a person with two university degrees who happen to need a wheelchair because of a nasty neurological illness."
People don't always look their age. Some don't even act their age. But these Redditors have gotten their fair share of wrong guesses for their ages.
"That I'm 15."
"I'm 38 and a doctor. 'Did you just finish school?' EVERY DAY."
"This thread was depressing to read as I am 38 but often get mistaken for 50. I hate y'all and your youthful beauty."
Some people are typed out as certain types of people with just one look.
Watch Your Tone
"That I have a southern accent. Not one stranger has ever suspected that I have a 'New Jersey' accent (Born and raised in New Jersey before moving south)"
Not A Biker
"That I ride a Harley and/or work on them. I'm bald with a long goatee and tons of tattoos, but I'm in IT for a living and don't ride motorcycles at all."
Like others have expressed in the thread, I've also been accused of having "resting b*tch face."
You know, that neutral expression where you're not smiling the one time you're not in a situation where you have to be "on" for other people?
Yeah, that one.
If someone's resting face comes across as unfriendly, well, perhaps it's best not to upset them by asking them what's wrong all the time. Just sayin'.
Ideally, a teacher should take the job because of a genuine interest in helping students, furthering their education as well as their self-development. Of course, it's not as simple as that (administrative issues aside). Unfortunately, there are some teachers out there who aren't cut out for the job––and they even have a mean streak when it comes to their students. The effects this can have on the learning process are dire.
Teachers don't get paid well, and they're well aware. Many stick with the job because they have a passion for teaching; many others stick with the job because of the position of inscrutable authority it offers them over helpless students.
People shared their experiences after Redditor Ara-Rat asked the online community,
"What did your teacher do that made you call them 'the worst teacher ever'?"
"Questioned 5th-grade teacher's manner of pluralizing a word on the board. Got sent to the library to look it up in a dictionary and report my findings to the class.
Decades later and I'm still mad at that woman for trying to publicly humiliate a ten-year-old student."
That's awful. What is with adults who try to deliberately an example out of children?
"My old band teacher..."
"My old band teacher threw a projector at his students. He left the district later that year."
That was... probably for the best, when you think about it. (I had a teacher who threw a girl's pencil case out the window when she wouldn't stop talking; no, he was not fired.)
"My 3rd-grade teacher..."
"My 3rd-grade teacher got frustrated with a kid's stutter and started pounding the kid's desk with a closed fist while mocking his stutter."
Hopefully this teacher was disciplined and/or fired. That's the sort of behavior that thankfully would not fly today––it would go viral so fast.
"The worst were the teachers..."
"The worst were the teachers who would take books away from me and hold me up for ridicule because they disagreed or didn't approve of the genre or subject material. I was always into science fiction and horror genre's and many of them didn't consider it true literature worthy of reading. I remember my father getting into it with one of the teachers who disapproved of Robert Heinlein's Stranger in a Strange Land, to which he pointed out it was on the required reading list of a lot of major universities. Dad was awesome like that, and chewed the teacher and principal out for having the temerity to try to stop any student who wanted to read, regardless of what the genre was."
Teachers who mock students for reading are the worst. Reading is one of the best things any student can do––there are so many benefits! Hopefully you have not lost your love of reading.
"When I'd instinctively try..."
"She tied me to my chair. I was hyperactive, and also 5. She would also hold my hand during formation in the mornings and squeeze so hard my tiny knuckles would crack. When I'd instinctively try to pull my hand away, she'd hold onto it and smile at me and ask me if it hurt."
The abuse here is almost incomprehensible. But it happens: a few years ago, a teacher made headlines for hanging a student by his coat on a coatrack. You can bet there were lawsuits.
"I was in the only dress I owned..."
"Tried to get me suspended for a dress code violation when I was 15. I was in the only dress I owned at the time because I was going to my best friend's funeral. She'd committed suicide two days before. I was crying and begging her to just let me stay till my mom picked up my remaining friends to go to the funeral. Said teacher then took me to the office and I had to sit in the front office under a tarp until my mom picked me up."
"My 8th grade English teacher..."
"My 8th grade English teacher never published grades and every time I'd ask her about it she'd answer with, "I don't know, what do you think it is?"
IF I KNEW WOULD I BE ASKING?!"
I've had a few teachers like this. Makes one wonder: Are you actually grading anything? WHAT are you doing, exactly?
"My biology teacher..."
"My biology teacher took my yearbook away right before the summer break. I didn't put it away in time.
That year my parents divorced and I was moving away. I told her this after class and she didn't care. She kept it until the last day. I didn't get any signatures.
Ended up throwing it away. What a witch."
"My university lecturer..."
"My university lecturer was the most incompetent bloke I've ever met. He taught I.T and for the life of me, I can't figure out how he got that job.
- In the first lesson, he got us to sign up to Twitter so we could share lesson content, tweet at each other so we'd get to know one another, and also tweet him. Everybody, including the lecturer, used Twitter once. We just used the university intranet to share stuff.
- Again, during the first lesson, he announced he was going on holiday for four weeks during our first term.
- All of his lessons were PowerPoint presentations, each slide had about a paragraph of text written on them which he would read out loud while awkwardly looking over his shoulder. Once he was done doing that he would essentially repeat what he had just said.
- One day he asked us for help in booking his airline tickets online because he couldn't figure out how to use the website.
As sad as these stories are, consider that these teachers are very much the exception to the rule. The majority of the teachers I have known over the years genuinely care for their students, work tirelessly on their lesson plans, and would never tolerate a single moment of the behavior featured here. Thank you to those teachers for doing their jobs––we appreciate you. (And ya'll deserve a raise, it's honestly messed up how little lawmakers understand about how hard your jobs actually are.)
Have some stories of your own? Feel free to tell us about them in the comments section below!