I am currently waiting in line at Service Canada. Because it is so busy I took the time to count. There 2, 538 people ahead of me. Okay. That is a lie. There is about 30 people ahead of me. Thankfully they give you chairs to sit on.
Question. I want your honest responses. Is it racist to make a point to smile at visible minorities? I ask this because I do. So many of minorities are mistreated in society. I remember when I was a teenager I was in a car with a friend and her mom was driving. We drove past a man wearing a turban. The mom fingered him. I didn’t see him until a few seconds before she fingered him so assumed he had done something. “What did he do?”, I asked. She replied with something along the lines that he did nothing and he was just a “fucking paki” and he should dress like a Canadian if he wants to live here. I clearly remember the hate in her voice. It stuck with me. The memory is as clear as if it happened today. Anyway, I have been told that doing something purposely because of race, like smiling, is racist. This morning when I stopped at Tim Horton’s to get a coffee there was a young mom with her family. She was wearing a headscarf, obviously Muslim. We made eye contact and I smiled. That said, I smile all the time at people but definitely make a point if I see a person who is a visible minority.
Speaking of smiling, a woman just sat down beside me and I and I smiled at her. She did not smile back. Just a glare. Yikes. Another man just sat down. I smiled at him. Another no responder. This isn’t a very friendly place. What would people do if I just did something really weird like let one rip really loud? What if I sang songs from Annie? Would that get a smile?
Seriously, this is a very unhappy group. Looking around it seems everyone is pissed off. Granted, this is not a fun place.
Time to read my book. It’s by Matt Haig called Notes on a Nervous Planet.