The Adventure of the casual racist in the doctor’s office | Street Jazz

The Adventure of the casual racist in the doctor’s office


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At the outset, it should be understood that the woman in question spoke perfect English - probably better than the lout who felt who felt compelled to leap in with his racism.

Going with Tracy to a doctor’s appointment yesterday, we stood in line behind a young woman who was asking the receptionist some questions. The conversation was in English.

A few minutes later an older couple came in. When the woman’s name was called the man elected to stay out in the lobby.

Within a minute or so of his wife’s departure the woman who had arrived before us answered her cell phone, and began to have a conversation.

In Spanish.

After she herself was called in to see the doctor, Tracy said, “That’s what has happened to the world since they took phone booths away. We have to hear everybody’s private conversations.”

This opening evidently gave the man permission to give voice to what is no doubt on his mind much of the time, launching into a speech about how, when folks come to our country, they should learn to speak English, followed up by a few choice racist comments about Hispanics (not the word he used) he had worked with in poultry plants.

It didn’t help matters when I leaned over and said, “Well, if folks are going to have phone conversations in front of everybody, I would prefer it was in a foreign language. I don’t want to listen in on people’s private conversations.”

He chose that moment to turn back to the magazine he had been leafing through.

I think that is the problem with folks like this, men and women one might describe as “casual racists.” They automatically assume that everybody feels about the world as they do, and it doesn’t take much for them to spout their vile bigotry, be it in the doctor’s office, a restaurant or online.

Well, at least he gave me something to write about . . .


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