The other day I’m at the outlet mall with my mom, and we pass by the Coach store. I don’t know why, but this particular Coach store makes people line up outside because they only let approximately five people in at once. Well, there was a Chinese family in line, speaking accented English. There were also many other Asian people in line. My mom and I are passing by the line (mostly because we hate Coach, not because it’s long), and we pass these two guys who are disgusted that there are so many Asians in line. One guy says “Why are there so many of them?” And the other guy AFFECTS A TERRIBLE MOCKERY of a Chinese accent and says something along the lines of “We bought everything in our own country so now we come here to buy yours.”
This kind of behavior really gets under my skin. It’s a whole other issue to make blatantly racist jokes, but mocking accents is something that really gets to me. Let me say it loud and clear, PEOPLE WITH ACCENTS SPEAK MORE LANGUAGES THAN YOU. People with accents for sure speak two languages, maybe more, and the people that mock them probably only speak one. It’s so, SO disrespectful in my mind because people with accents are trying their hardest to speak another language, and are trying to function as best they can in a place that is not their home. And it chaps my hide so bad because the people who make fun of them probably have NO idea what it takes to do that. They have no idea what it takes to put yourself out there like that and adapt to a completely different country and culture. These are probably the same damn people who go to a different country and expect that the people there should speak their language. The AUDACITY.
People sometimes think it’s ok to make jokes about accents because their brown friend or their Chinese friend doesn’t mind, but making those jokes around everyone in public just shows underlying racist sentiments. It’s not my place to tell people what jokes they can or cannot make around their friends/family of different ethnicities, but I can tell you that just because your friends aren’t offended when you mock their accents, doesn’t mean everyone else feels the same way. And this doesn’t just go for people of color, this goes for anybody who has come to a new country and is trying to learn a new language. It seems like in America for some reason, British and Australian accents are the epitome of sex appeal but everyone else gets ridiculed and told to go back to their country.
All in all, if you ever feel tempted to make these jokes or think they’re funny, just think for ONE second before you do. Think about what it took for them to change countries and to try and learn a new language to fit in. THINK about how much ambition and courage that takes, and maybe, just maybe, keep your mouth shut.