I’m a little miffed and want to write this down.
My mother and I went to the local Giunta’s Meat Farms (it’s called MEAT FARMS, how can I not like that place?) and wanted to get a few bottles of wine. There’s a local wine and liquor shop on the other end of the same strip. We walked there to save time and a few miles.
This isn’t the place we normally buy wine at. Usually we go to a store on Old Country Road that is ran by a nice Korean American couple. They’re from Argentina and they speak Spanish perfectly. I’m ashamed of my 2 year-old level grammar when they speak. They’re nice and know their wine. Some of their recommendations have been very good.
The place we went today had a person who felt the need to educate my mother about wine and tried to convince her that she wanted a rosé. She doesn’t like that type of wine, said so and he continued his hard sell. She and I shortly told him “thanks, but we know what we’re looking for”.
Mom has been educated about wine well before he was born. I swear, he was mansplaining wine to her.
As we’re checking out, Mom asked him if the store carries Don Q rum. She pronounced it “don COO”. He looked at us weird and feigned that he didn’t know what we meant. Finally he says
Oh, you mean “dän CUE”. No, we don’t carry it.
To which I replied
We’re Puerto Rican, we pronounce it “don COO”.
No big deal, right? While we are finishing up paying for the wine, that’s when he explained.
In America it’s pronounced “CUE”. You can try stores in Brentwood or Wyandanch.
Oh. That’s how it is in “America”. Good to know.
A little background about Long Island. Both of those towns are considered “minority” places and not in a flattering way. You know when that Orange Racist, who’s also currently president, talks about MS-13? He’s usually using Brentwood as his example.
There’s nothing wrong with those places and yeah, we’ve been to both towns before. There are some amazing Hispanic restaurants in Brentwood.
As we’re walking out and I’m holding the door for Mom, she clearly says out loud:
We are never shopping in this store again.
Unless that person’s brain condition got to his ears, he received the message loud and clear. In America we can choose which stores we shop in. **** that guy and his racist attitude.
Bet Hannon says:
Aggh! I’m so sorry that this happened to your mom (and you)! Think this guy was the owner? And if not, that the owner shares his views? If it were MY store, I’d want to know that the racist clerk lost us business…. and do something about it.
July 11, 2018 — 6:31 pm
Jan Dembowski says:
What irks me more is that bigotry is becoming normalized.
That troll didn’t see any issue with his statement and if I went back and asked, I’m sure that his point would just be “America: if you don’t like it, go back to where you came from.”
In my case, that would be Brooklyn.
July 12, 2018 — 6:40 am
Three things that irk me:
1) Puerto Rico is part of the United States (ahem…). So when this guy uses “America” to mean “United States”, then yes, Puerto Rico is America. Apparently, he doesn’t realize that, or refuses to accept it.
2) English is not the default language in the US. There are parts that are French-speaking (Maine), Spanish-speaking (the occupied territory that is the American southwest), and German-speaking (Amish country, which is my neck of the woods), not to mention hundreds of First Nations languages.
3) “America” is not just the United States. (hashtags askacanadian askamexican)
I’m sorry this happened to you. Sadly, you’re right—bigotry is becoming normalized, in ways we haven’t see in this country for a long time.
Like you, I’m voting with my dollars—apparently the only vote we have left that seems to count. Pity we have so few of them.
I love hearing about a Korean-American couple from Argentina who speak perfect Spanish. That is what our world is becoming. It’s a pity so many people are frightened by that.
August 5, 2018 — 9:57 pm
Jan Dembowski says:
They shame me. They really do. Their Spanish is PERFECT. 😎
I won’t go back to that other store and will continue to shop at the one I like. Voting with my dollars is the way to go.
August 7, 2018 — 10:16 am
Oh goodness. What has the US turned into lately. That type of folks mispronounces just about every European brand name to the point no European recognizes it any more, but they feel the need to lecture people from Puerto Rico on how to pronounce a rum produced in … Puerto Rico. And they are obviously proud of their ignorance.
My experience is, that only people who do not speak a second language behave that way. So, whether your Spanish is perfect or not, you are still miles ahead of that store owner.
September 13, 2018 — 8:12 am
Andre Q says:
That was a great post, and yes the racism is becoming more normalized, even in the liberal bubble areas. My first thought about the ‘correcting guy’ is “What problem is he trying to solve?” It doesn’t take a Rocket Surgeon to figure out what your mom was doing.
My first thought was that he’s still struggling with decent human communication and will eventually have to move out from his mother’s basement. Good news is that’s its unlikely he’ll reproduce and create more such folks.
October 18, 2018 — 5:18 pm