this thing that happened to me at work

What she said:

I was waiting in line for my coffee across the street just now, and I couldn’t believe it–I was surrounded by Muslims!  They were all wearing their garb* and I was getting a little freaked out.  I really hope they weren’t terrorists.  Enough of them have tried to blow us up!

What I said:

…….(static)

…….(radio silence)

I just stood there with my mouth hanging open.

What I should have said, what I wish I had said, what I will say next time:

That was extremely offensive.  There are over 2 million Muslims in this country, and they wear all sorts of things, and exactly none of them have tried to blow you up. I’m going to go over there and say hello to those folks at the coffee shop.  Want to come?  I think most of them actually work downstairs.

What would you have said?  What do you think I should have said?

*Yes, she actually said “garb.”  What is there, some kind of Official Racist Phrasebook?

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8 responses to “this thing that happened to me at work

  1. Garb! How about ‘costume’?

    One of my facebook friends is married to a middle eastern guy, and I saw from their halloween pics that he dressed up as a terrorist this year… I don’t know if that was just a tacky choice or a brilliantly wry commentary on these morons!

  2. Umm, wow. What an ignorant thing to say. My response would vary depending upon how well I knew the person. I would let her know that her sentiment was offensive.
    I have experienced some ignorant statements before which have left me dumbfounded and speechless, I hate that feeling. WTF is wrong with people? Fear=bad. (how’s that for eloquence)?

  3. Oh, The Judge that lives within me lives for this shit.

    I would have asked her if she has always lived her life like Archie Bunker.

  4. Wow. I would have been too dumbfounded to react as well. Some of my family members are terrible bigots, and I’ve come to the conclusion that silence is a pretty good response.

  5. Don’t underestimate your silence. She may have been seeking a “oh yeah, those darn Muslims are everywhere” from you and didn’t get it, which may make her think twice next time. What a short-sighted idiot.

  6. Extremely prejudiced and stereotyped statement made by ‘her’. I think what you wanted to articulate was perfectly worded.

    There is a serious veil of mistrust that seems to be emerging though.

    I for one, have grown up with my parents having quite a few Muslim friends. That considered, I don’t really visualize them as terrorists in the first go. But I do have colleagues who have said that they would want to be born again anything but a M.

    Sad, no?

  7. Er… really? That is so sad. I wouldn’t have known what to say either, I guess I would just have given them an incredulous look. Maybe you can casually mention something about nice, friendly Muslims soonish?

  8. eeew. I have to moderate comments from “the public” as part of my job. And let me tell ya, there are ALL KINDS of morons out there.

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