At work a few weeks ago, Shaune was explaining a new feature on one of the cars he sells to a customer– the immobilizer theft-deterrent system - how it could prevent car theft.
“Oh you mean like if a big black guy with a gun were to try and carjack me?” the customer, a wealthy middle aged-man joked. Stunned, my husband rushed through his run down of the features and benefits of the vehicle, counting the seconds till he could get away from the man.
It’s the not the first time he’s been privy to people’s hateful comments.
After 9/11, when he was still in the restaurant business, customers often requested Non-Arabic cab drivers when they were too drunk to drive home. I’m not saying racism only comes out of Caucasian mouths – I hear terrible things said about the gay community by people of all colours on a regular basis.
I’m just grateful that my husband is appalled by these expressions of hatred. Because if you ask me, most of us are too tolerant of intolerance. I wonder how we’re ever going to teach our kids to stop bullying if we don’t stop it ourselves. Of course it’s easy for me to say -this revulsion of bigotry comes naturally to me; I’ve been a visible minority most of my life.
And that’s why I’m acutely aware of how rare and wonderful it is that Shaune is disgusted by society’s hatred of difference. It’s one of the things that tethers us together in this life.
That and his mad skills in the kitchen!