On Monday afternoon, I ran outside of my office building to an awning in order to avoid the rain. I took out my pack of girlish Capris & had my first break of the day. Whilst trying to enjoy the five minutes I had outside, a man appeared before me and yelled this at my face:
I should call the f*ckin’ INS. F*ckin’ Beijing motherf*cker.
…then stormed off as angry as he had walked up but without yelling or cursing at anyone else on the street.
Mind you, I realize that New York can be full of crazies but this man seemed like a totally normal, albeit rather antagonized, human being. I also haven’t had anyone say something like that to me in such a direct and offensive manner in almost ten years. And no, I did not retaliate with vulgar words of my own. I could only stand in shock that my presence on a street, just trying to stay dry & enjoy a rather sullen day, would offend someone so much that they would react in that manner.
I also thought I had let it go & that it hadn’t bothered me all that much, but I’ve felt so incredibly tired today & the memory of it nags in my head.
Maybe it’s also the fact that I work at an international school & come across different ethnicities, cultures & religions on a daily basis. It shocks me that this kind of thinking still exists.
To clarify, angry stranger : I’m Filipino, not from Beijing and it’s called the ICE now. If you’re going to try and deport a US Citizen by calling immigration, you should probably get the name right [it stands for US Immigration and Customs Enforcement if you were curious].