For the “Other Side” of the Hapa Family

How do you respond when you see people treating other people badly because of their race?

The following excerpt comes from my friend Chris Baron, who is white and of Jewish descent and married to a Filipina –and the dad of two Hapa kids. But from his blond-haired, blue-eyed surfer looks a store cashier might have made assumptions about what was okay to say.

Today at my local Vons, I watched a Filipino woman struggling with the little card machine as she tried to pay. I watched the cashier roll her eyes. After the Filipino woman left, the cashier began to complain, “how hard is it to read the questions on the little machine? Sheesh”

“I don’t know?” I said.

I did my transaction, and she said, “see, it’s not that hard, you just read and follow directions..I don’t know what is wrong with some people.”

I paused, “What if someone does not read English? “ I asked.

She looked at me, surprised, “Then they shouldn’t be shopping here,” she said with conviction.

“Do you really mean that?” I asked.

 There was a dramatic pause that shook the line, “sort of,” she said.

I looked at her, “You should think that through that a bit. Night!”

So…should there be further steps taken? Please tell me what you think.


  1. says

    I think this was a great response. It was non confrontational but it was strong and allowed the cashier to think of her actions critically. Whatever her response was it came from her head. I wish more people would do this, and those who do did it much more often! Silence Enables. We have to call these things out.

    • says

      I agree that he handled this situation with integrity and dignity. Thanks for stopping by, Flor! I look forward to checking out your blog.

  2. says

    I couldn’t agree more that silence enables. I think it is our duty to speak up. If people see it is not accepted or tolerated they might not feel as free to “say what they think” which inturn would give less fuel to others who may feel similar!

  3. Charissa says

    Knowing me I would of defently said something.. Maybe a little to much, but enough to get my point through. I would of complained on that store also. I dont tolerate racist comments one bit.

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