The Racist Encounter
A few months ago, I flew to Dallas to attend my brother’s beautiful wedding. The wedding took place on Saturday, but my brother and his fiancé threw a small party for close family and friends on Friday night.
My husband volunteered to watch our little kids so I can spend some quality time with my older brother and fiancé before the wedding. I was so excited because this was my first time leaving both of my kids at night to attend a fancy dinner.
The evening was going great. The food was delicious. I spent time with relatives and friends from out of town and was having a blast, and feeling slightly guilty that I was enjoying my time this much without my kids.
My cousin and I went into the bathroom to take shameless selfies and do some lipstick touchups when a white man walked into the bathroom. My cousin and I were surprised, and as we left the bathroom, she said, “That’s not cool, dude.”
This man’s girlfriend, who was in the bathroom as well, walked out and followed us and said:
“Did you just tell my boyfriend he’s not cool? You’re not cool. You’re from f**** India.” I quickly took out my phone and asked her to repeat what she said, and recorded it. Her boyfriend then looks at us and tells us, “You are beautiful.”
At this point, I am speechless at what just happened. This is a drunk, racist couple who could physically hurt us. A man walked into us in the bathroom. This racist woman just told us to go back to India, although she probably doesn’t even know where India is on the map. We’re not even Indian; not that it matters. She said we are not “cool” because she thought we were from India, as if it was an insult.
We told the receptionist about what happened, and he followed the racist couple outside, along with security and my brother’s friend who overheard the last part of the scuffle.
The police were called because the racist couple continued to shout racial slurs at my brother’s Arab friend and at the receptionist, who was Black.
“Okay, good, the police are here,” I thought. “He will protect us,” I thought. “I’m sure he will arrest them because we felt threatened.”
“Sorry, we can’t do anything. This is freedom of speech,” he said. “What do you want me to do? It’s his right,” the police officer firmly told us.
My brother and his fiancé came to see what the commotion was all about, but we reassured them everything was fine. We weren’t going to ruin their night. We dismissed it all, and told everyone to go back to the dinner and that we were fine.
We thanked my brother’s friend and the receptionist for their support, and I called it a night and got an Uber to take me back to the hotel.
I sat silently in the back seat replaying the nasty racist lady’s hurtful words, and how the police defended her and told us it was her right. Her “freedom of speech” was protected, yet my cousin and I felt threatened by her hate speech.
My kids were sound asleep when I went back to the hotel room. I kept thinking what would have happened if I had taken them with me and if they witnessed such hatred. They’re still very young, and probably would have been confused by the whole incident, but they would have felt the animosity and unfairness.
I prayed that they never face such hatred and racism, and for God to keep to them safe always. I promised myself that I would keep teaching them about love, and to respect other people’s differences, and get to know people who look different than them.