I was having lunch with a friend,
Cheese pizza, Mountain Dew, and fries.
A group of guys sitting nearby,
Were laughing aloud at the school cafeteria.
One of them approaches and sitting next to me
“I’m hungry and I’ll get a dollar if I come to you
and say that you look really Asian.”
Confused and caught off guard, I calmly reply,
“I am Asian.”
He stands up and proceeds to yell,
“Hey! You look really Asian!”
Mission accomplished. He earned his buck.
He leaves and joins his cronies.
I look at my friend and we both understand,
Had it been my or his country,
I’d slap him in the face.
Uncomfortable in front of my dostluk,
Turkish for a “friend” as he taught me,
We’re done with our food and ready to leave.
And then I felt it.
This wasn’t right.
Of all the people in the crowd
This stranger chose to target me.
I take a buck, go to the clown,
And then I say,
“You chose to insult me for just a dollar,
Here’s another to learn some manners.”
And then I leave.
He smirked as if he didn't hear me,
I didn't know what else to say.
Throughout the day I thought about it,
The whole encounter could be worse,
But here’s the truth.
Trivializing racism is not an option.
No tolerance for stigmatization.
For othering. For racist trolling.