While treating myself to a mini manicure in my hometown, I overheard two women speaking qute loudly about the current state of the neighborhood, a low middle-class area with a very large Latino population.
These two refined caucasion women discussed oh-so-eloquently their disgust with the Mexican community. They’re low class. They don’t believe in education. They’re lazy. All of the wonderfully insightful criticisms you could think of were mentioned.
I sat in the waiting area so angered by what I was hearing. I couldn’t bring myself to speak up only because the two women looked about thirty and forty years my superior, and I just cannot disrespect my elders. Every time one of the women caught my eye, I was sure to portray a look of shock and disapproval.
I listened to them rant on. I was embarrassed to be caucasion at that point. I was embarrassed to be a white woman, to look like them. I was embarrassed to be in the same room as they were and even to speak the same language! I experienced a combination of emotions which I could not even begin to describe.
Soon, it was my turn to get my nails done. I sat with a Vietnamese man, named Tony, who does my nails better than anyone else I have ever gone to (so if you want to know the place, I totally recommend it). After softening the cuticles (wow, I sound like such a girly girl…), he sent me to the sink to wash and dry my hands. As I walked over, I passed one of the women who had been bashing Latinos returning from washing her hands. I honestly could not bear to look her in the eye.
When I reached the sink, to my amazement, I realized she had left her wet paper towels, lying in a fresh pool of soapy water on the edge of the sink.
I guess she was waiting for one of those “lazy ass Mexicans” to come clean them up. Maybe the woman was just too educated to have to pick up after herself. Or MAYBE she was just SO high-class she couldn’t tolerate the thought of throwing her garbage into the trash can, located conveniently next to the sink.
Whatever it was, at least she’s better than those damn Mexicans.