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Human first

by NIDHI SHARMA 6 days ago in humanity
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Racism

Human first
Photo by Javardh on Unsplash

So something happened and it has been eating me from inside.

It was not a great day so my husband and I decided to go out and go shopping. We went to this big store just like many stores in the US. I had a list of things I wanted to find, so we went from aisle to aisle searching for them. Sometimes we would even go to random aisles. In between my husband stopped as he got a message on his phone and I was actually losing patience and asked him to come along so that we keep moving. In the middle of the store, as we were entering another aisle section, a black man came rushing towards us. He was already saying something like "you doing hand signs at me, come here you little f*****, huh, huh, huh" and then he suddenly pushed my husband against the aisle. As I was behind, I couldn't believe what just happened to my husband. The man continued, "you little Indian motherf****** you are doing some weird hand signs at me". All of it happened so fast but I could not digest the fact that someone did something to my husband. I had the shopping cart with me and I used it to create a barrier between him and us without the cart touching him. I blurted "what the hell are you doing?" and "we did not do anything" while he was shoving my husband onto the aisle. To which he replied, "shut the hell up b**** I will f*** you up too" and walked away from us and the shopping cart. There were other bystanders who witnessed the "show", they were black too. I wonder what was going on in their mind-- whether to help us or take the side of the man who was harassing us. As the man walked away, he continued saying things like, "you are not special, you Indian motherf*******, you are not black." We said nothing after that and continued shopping in the next aisle and he was nearby. He was still verbally abusing us. We did not flee as we did not do anything wrong. Then another shopper at the store complained and called security. The security guys asked us if he was screaming at us. Not only was he screaming he actually got physical and used bad language. My husband stayed calm throughout and did not say a word. He was the smart one in the situation. I just could not see my most loved one being attacked like that.

The person who complained later came to us to check if we were ok. I said, "we were already not having a good day and that happened", "it's fine". She told me it is not fine. This is not the right way, which is why I called the security. We thanked her and carried on with the shopping.

I have replayed this incident a million times in my head and every time it breaks my heart, for there is so much hatred and wrong in this world. I wish my husband had not stopped to read his messages, or I would have not asked him to come along when he stopped, or we never entered that aisle, or we had followed a different order of aisles, just so we never encountered that man. I can perfectly recall that the man was already yelling and saying some random things and just as we came in his sight, he transitioned his thoughts toward us. He immediately made it about us.

Until that point, I actually thought he sounded playful as if he was talking to a kid or a friend who was hiding somewhere in between the aisles but he suddenly came and attacked us. That was shocking. I will never forget his face.

We are just peace loving foreigners living in this country trying to make a better life for ourselves through hard work just as everyone else, and then this happens. I never thought that this would happen to us. I was just so stunned. If someone reacts to something you did, then it makes sense to experience a retaliation but even if you don't do anything and mind your own business, it still can happen to you. This is really unfair.

Maybe the man was drunk, maybe he had a disorder, maybe he met some bad people or maybe he was too stressed due to some personal situation. There can be all sorts of reasons for empathy. But the "what if" part makes things scary. What if he had a weapon and used it on my husband, my life would have been over right that second. Hell, my life has not even begun properly.

I am sure such incidents can happen anywhere and with anyone. Millions of such incidents go silent and at most discussed only with friends or family, because "no one was hurt" so “let it go”. So are we only going to talk about it when someone gets hurt? What about the mental implications? Some people handle it better than others. Some people will move on instantly but others can't.

Astronauts, when they look at the earth from space, realize how small our world is and we live on that tiny blue dot, so racism, violence, hatred, negativity does not matter. We need to have the astronaut’s view. The point is we all are human first and we have one home. All I want by writing this piece is that we as humans need to respect those around us and be better. Think about the effects of your actions on others, it can ruin someone's day or even their whole life. Empathize. Racism should end for everyone, be it black or not. No one is special, we are all equal.

humanity

About the author

NIDHI SHARMA

Amateur writer

Pouring my heart out through words

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