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It's a plague many of us would rather not admit occurs on a daily basis.


It's one thing to watch it happen on the news or to see someone write someting about it on social media. It's another experience entirely to be present, first-hand, and watch someone get treated differently, usually with anger and vitriol, just because of where they were born or what they look like. You may not know what to say in the moment, how to either stand up for yourself or the person you're with, but you can always talk about later on the internet to decompress.

Reddit user, u/Jamally1980, wanted to hear about:

What's the most blatant act of racism you have witnessed in person?

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.

Tomegunn1

"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."

SagiTsukiko

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.

Interesting_Shock788

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.

discostud1515

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.]

Afrin_Drip

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.

jinforever99

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.

Moctezuma_93

...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.

Minifig_Monkey

The most common trait I've seen among racist people is the assumption that most other people are as racist as them.

CrunchyKorm

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.

BlackDante

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.

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