Friday, 23 November 2012

Prejudice : No pride in that

With apologies to Jane Austen.

I have to get this out of my chest.

Couple of days ago, a facebook friend with Asian heritage posted that a mall kiosk employee tried to sell her hair straightening product by asking what products she uses to straighten her hair.  I think we all have heard some one making similar clueless comments. I am certainly used to clueless people making clueless comments or assumptions about brown people. When that happens I usually do an mental eye roll! Sometimes I even share those conversations with my other brown friends and we laugh about it. I think it is pretty normal reaction.

What bothered me was some of the comments to the original posting.There was one comment that particularly bothered me that said "There is a reason they are working at the mall, not everyone is born with smarts!"  I am sure this was a tongue in cheek comment. But I still think it is wrong to insinuate that someone is dumb just because they are working at a mall kiosk. We all are clueless about a lot of things and have made clueless comments just like the kiosk employee. Clueless about somethings ( in this case hair type of Asian race ) does not make one stupid. The kiosk employee may even had specific instructions to ask everyone the same question, even people with naturally straight hair. 

This comment made me think of one of our former neighbours, H. She used to work at the mall in Markham.  She completed her degree in India. When she  came to Canada with her family and settled in Markham, she worked at the mall while studying part-time at the community college and taking care of her family. How would H feel if she saw this comment? Did the person who posted the above comment stop to think if any of original poster's facebook friends work at a mall?

Ok I feel much better after getting this out of chest.


Anonymous said...

I am w. you on this one...and not all "Asian" ppl have naturally straight hair... I should know.. I was born and raised in a South East Asian country.


Anonymous said...

I meant South East Asian Country .. lol.. my bad!