It happened again. I couldn’t understand someone on the phone. There was a language barrier. And because I tried to explain I don’t speak their language, they reported to my Boss that I’m “racist”.

In the same week, a local business accused my Boss of training racists because we didn’t stand up for them in what was clearly an issue that didn’t involve us.

It bothered me. It bothered me a lot. It bothered me because I don’t understand why I’m expected to be someone I’m not, and how someone else’s issues have become my responsibility.

I love helping people. I really do. I’m The Girl who feeds the homeless and smiles to make a sad stranger feel better. I can’t write murder-mysteries because I don’t know how to get that gritty. I don’t brag about my Good Deeds because that’s between me and whoever and I don’t do things to earn Worldly Brownie Points.

Yes, I make mistakes. No, I’m not perfect.

I am a Good Person.

And for someone to suggest otherwise is like a cold, steely dagger gutting me. It’s painful. And confusing.

It goes deeper than a personal attack on me. I’ve noticed a tendency of certain types of people to feel “entitled”. There is not one group or ethnicity or culture that does it. Rather, it’s individuals. Just as some people are born with brown eyes or some students grasp math over English. Some people are unable to take responsibility for their own actions, responses, and thought processes.

And because of that, I’ve been labeled “racist”.

I don’t speak a second language. If a phone connection is not very clear, I have a hard time with the conversation. When people mumble, I don’t hear.  And I politely say, “I’m sorry; I’m having a hard time understanding you.”

And because of that, I’ve been labeled “racist”.

I’m not hear to argue “If you’re in my country, speak my language”. That only goes so far. When I finally have a passport and money to travel the world, I won’t be able to learn 26 different languages. I’ll try to speak Italian and get past the baroque of the Irish. I’ll carry my Berlitz interpretive dictionaries. I’ll be thankful for the natives who will help me. And I’ll understand when they say they can’t understand me.

But I won’t call them “racist”.

I am a Person. An individual. I do the best I can, and I believe that most others do, too.

I don’t believe any class of people is less important to the World than another. I believe individuals make choices, and at times are unable to make responsible choices.

That doesn’t make me “racist”.

Does it?

Expand Your Horizons

Expand Your Horizons

And Frankly, My Dear… that’s all she wrote!

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