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Pet Sins December 2000

Black customer assumes hostility of Chinese restaurant staff

I work in my relative's Chinese restaurant. Some black women I encountered have an attitude towards Asians.

For example, once a black woman came in 20 minutes before closing time. My relative told her nicely, "We'll be closing in 20 minutes." He actually meant that she could stay and have a quick meal, but she did not even wait to clarify that. She shouted, "I will never come here again!" and stormed out of the restaurant.

We were appalled that she reacted in this manner to just one sentnece "We'll be closing in 20 minutes", without giving anyone the chance to say anything else.

Some black women seem to assume people are against them automatically, even when other people are not. There seem to be fewer black men with this issue.

Chinese in the South, U.S.

I was acquainted with a black woman who assumed that anyone who wasn't friendly to her was 'racist', whether they were black or white or Asian. Perhaps some of the people in question were really racist, but would we ever know? Why torment ourselves by attributing certain motivations to each rude or cold individual we meet? Maybe that person is a jerk to everybody, or maybe she didn't like fat people, or maybe he was having a bad day. I am all for constructive dialog about race issues, but I've never seen her, with all her complaining, take any concrete step towards bettering race relations. We've better things to spend our time on than unconstructive paranoia.

T.J.

2000