HomeAsian AmericansOpen Letter to Racially Biased People at Airports

Open Letter to Racially Biased People at Airports

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By Sophia Whittemore
AsAmNews Intern

Dear woman who smirked as my Indonesian mother and my multiracial self came up to the counter, gave us the wrong terminal, and then laughed as we walked back after being told that we were given faulty information. All this happened while carrying five large bags in our arms and sweating about a half hour later, gasping after getting off a crowded train and tripping in the hall.
I appreciate you.
I’m sure you’re a wonderful mother/wife/daughter/cousin/friend. I’m sure you treat those who aren’t a little darker in coloration just fine. I’m sure you’re employee of the month at the airport. I’m sure your job is tough. I’m sure your home smells like cookies whenever winter rolls around. I bet you support homeless shelters, soup kitchens, and animal shelters.
Dear airport worker who pulled my mom out of line and patted her down. Thank you for keeping our country safe. You’re just doing your part.
Dear people who checked why my palms were stained with “mysterious” ink. I wrote a wonderful poem with that ink. I wish that you got the chance to read it.
Dear woman who glared at us the entire time we waited in line. I hope your flight was wonderful. I hope you enjoyed your vacation/business trip/or general life.
Dear person asking if I speak English. I do. I also speak basic Bahasa, Hebrew, Spanish, and enough French to order a sandwich.
Dear person glaring at the beautiful young woman wearing a hijab in front of us. I chatted with her for a bit. She just celebrated Eid al-Fitr and was flying back to her job in another state to go help support them.
Other beautiful moments while traveling.
Dear stewardess who helped my mother when she was airsick. You’re a beautiful, patient, and kind person.
Dear passengers who offered airsickness bags, mints, and wipes to my mother post-sickness. You’re all beautiful too.
Dear guy who got back from celebrating World Wide Pride in Madrid. I hope you got some well-deserved rest, and that the memories you made will be cherished forever.
Dear everybody traveling in airports. I wish you the safest, nicest, kindest, warmest, most comfortable flight you’ve ever experienced in your life.
Because we’re all human.
And we all deserve respect.
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