Thursday, March 25, 2010
I Just Wanted a Tomato
I stopped by Eastern Market in DC to get a tomato on my way home the other day. I got my tomato, but left more puzzled than I normally would have been.
The market vendor who sold me my tomato looked at me and said, "This my grandson." I felt obliged to smile at the little boy he indicated was related to him and thought nothing of it. But then he said, in broken English, something like, "He is not the black, but he is part." The man was Asian.
Before I could react or think, one of his employees, approached and asked in a thick Hispanic accent if the little boy was nicknamed "cucaracha."
In my mind, I imagine that no one in this situation meant to offend, but still I was perplexed, so I took my tomato and left. Sometimes I am a crusader for justice, sometimes I want to set people straight and sometimes I just want to get home and make my dinner.