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Pet Sins September 1999

Mexican dance company representative promotes to whites, ignores Asian

I attended an outdoor performance by a Mexican dance company. After the performance, a representative walked among the audience to hand out promotional flyers. She passed me 5 times, handing out flyers to the white people all around me, but I was totally ignored.

T.G., Asian expat, USA

Comment from 'R'
This sort of experience is apparently quite common. Many of my friends and coworkers were treated similarly not just by whites but by other people of color. For instance, one of my colleagues, who is an attractive professional of South Asian descent, was given poor service in a Thai restaurant while the waitresses there treated the white customers well. Another friend of Southeast Asian descent was served last at a European American chiropractor's office, after white customers who arrived later. (He did have an appointment before the whites, in case you're wondering.)

Comment from 'Y.L.'
I've experienced the "invisible non-white-person" phenomenon too. I live in a white majoriy neighborhood. White people hawking their services and products in public areas sometimes ignore me completely when I walk by. They're pretty enthusiastic about advertising to others though. There is an advantage to being ignored: you don't have to deal with unwanted sales pitches. Girl scouts bugging people to buy cookies outside supermarkets usually leave me alone ;-)