Saturday was a hot day. By 9:30am, the sun was already setting us on fire while we were getting ready for the last little league game of the season. I mentioned how a nice iced drink would be perfect, and we decided to hit McDonald’s drinks to cool off with. No big deal, and our son in the back seat was excited for his day of baseball then a picnic with his teammates. The day was supposed to be a good and stress free day, and so far so good. That was wishful thinking too soon, I should’ve known better.
As we pulled away from the “drive thru”, barely out of the corner of my eye I notice a car too late. The guy saw that we didn’t notice him and decided to continue his drive anyways. He stopped so we went ahead, and we thought that it was all done with. We were wrong. In my view I could see that he pulled up next to us, and was yelling at us through his window. When my husband opened his window, and a slew of profanities came out of this old man’s mouth. He apparently expected my husband to climb out of the car and bow down to this obviously superior white man to beg for his forgiveness. My husband calmly said “I’m sorry I didn’t see you, I already said I’m sorry. What more would you like?” This man continued to yell, and I swore I heard him hurl a few racial slurs towards my husband. Luckily the light turned and we went on our way trying to forget this incident.
A few things bothered us about what happened. The obvious thing was that this man (who was easily in his 50’s-60’s) felt that he had a need to belittle my husband over a mistake. A grown and supposedly mature man was acting like a 16-year-old. The fact that he hurled obscenities and slurs at my husband was bad enough, but we had a 9-year-old in the back seat listening to this person act this way. He listened as a person referred to my husband with words he’s never heard before and words he knew were negative towards him. If my son wasn’t the kid he was, that man could’ve shown him that it was acceptable to use that language in that situation. Luckily, my husband is a good person and obviously a much better man than this guy twice his age.
I have an awful temper, I know this and I know well enough to swallow my words most of the time before something is said that would make me ashamed. That man should’ve been ashamed of himself, and I could see from the look on his wife’s face that she was ashamed enough for all of us. Road rage is awful enough, but what gives that man the right to say what he said? He would’ve been just as much as fault if we did actually get in an accident, as he didn’t look like he was going to stop when he realized we didn’t see him. So what, my husband is Asian and the joke is that Asians can’t drive. There’s also a joke that old people shouldn’t drive, should we have said “get your eyes checked old man” or “you people shouldn’t be on the road after 50”? No, if we had it would’ve been appalling and they would talk about how the younger people don’t respect their elders. Yet this man is able to shout racial slurs and people probably wouldn’t care except people that are negatively called “liberals making a big deal out of something minor”. This incident scares me more than I was before about my child being mixed race in this society. I hope that either things change or my children will help make this change.