Growing up, I have never really seen color or race as main quality of attractiveness. In other words, I thought racism was a popular topic for history books and movies, but I did not think that it actually existed in our world. After moving to Florida, I learned that people actually do judge books by the cover.
In 2006 I walked into a CompUSA (this franchise is no longer in business) to purchase a new computer and apply for a credit card. I remember walking down the aisles with my Vietnamese friend waiting for a store clerk to assist me. Finally, someone came over to help me out and reluctantly run my personal information to check for credit. I’ll never forget that what he told me right before he hit the submit button. He said, “I doubt you’ll get approved.” I was really upset because this guy did not know anything about me except what he could see. Well, I was approved for $1601.00, just one dollar more than I needed to buy the computer.
In late 2012, I was driving to my new home in Haines City, Florida. A cop car pulled me over because my tag light was out. The officer walks up to the window of my car and takes all of my information. He tells me that my tag light was out so I apologized and told him that I just had it replaced. He then begins to question me: “What are you doing out on the roads so late? Where do you work? Why are you dressed so nice? What are you doing way out here?” I would consider these questions objective if it were not the first time that it happened to me. I noticed that every day the cop cars would follow me down the road. It’s as if they followed my car expecting me to do something wrong. Once again, I never believed that this kind of thing actually happened in real life.
My girlfriend gets upset when people stare at us. I guess the perception is that we do not belong together because we are not alike so we do not belong together. The other day I became frightened thinking about the idea that our kids may look nothing like either of us. How can a prepare my kids for life in this world of negative perceptions? I think my mom would say something like, “Never let people put you down. They don’t know as much as God knows.”
I’m praying for a day when people will be judged by the content of their character rather than the color of their skin. I may not be the best writer and I may not have written this blog very well, but I think it is important for people to know that it is foolish to pass judgement on a person based on personal perception. We must look much deeper than that to see who a person truly is.