Although I’ve never been the target of the effects of obscene, malicious expressions of anti-minority mentalities, I’m all too familiar with other ethnic minorities mimicking sounds reminiscent of a non-dubbed Bruce Lee film. I used to be annoyed by such utterances until I realized that when these guys would ching and chong, they sounded more like a lousy attempt at making fun of Cantonese.
I don’t speak Cantonese*; there’s no reason for me to be so bothered.
When I was at the Mall of GA today, I noticed a Spanish-speaking kiosk employee trying to get the attention of a shopper who might’ve known Spanish.** I happened to look in her direction after we’d both walked past that cart. She saw me as she sighed and smirked as if to say, “lame.” As I continued walking, I wondered how many times this kind of exchange happens every second. People who may appear to know a certain language but really don’t end up sighing or explaining, “I don’t speak Spanish; I speak Portuguese.” or “I’m not Japanese; I’m Thai.”
“Bloody hell, I’m IRISH not SCOTTISH.”
* I know random Cantonese phrases. My French is much better than my Cantonese.
** She may have been a Spanish speaker too and was irritated by that employee’s tone.