An Asian woman’s normal trip to the grocery store turned out to be more than what she bargained for when she got into an altercation.
Redditor throwawaryhduwude was speaking to her parents on the phone in her native language when a woman “in her 50s” in the same aisle chimed in.
Apparently, the fellow customer had a problem with the private conversation and uttered something that prompted the Original Poster (OP) to lash out.
The OP visited the “Am I the a**hole” (AITA) subReddit and asked:
“AITA for yelling at the woman to ‘f’k off’ in a grocery store when she told me to speak english?”
The OP articulated that her experience in the store may or may not have been a racially motivated confrontation.
“I’m (21 F[emale]) Asian and I’m married to an American(24 M[ale]). I’ve never experienced racism until now (although I’m not even sure this is racism because I may have overreacted a little).”
“But normally everyone’s been really kind to me. However a couple days ago, I went out shopping and since I’m also going back to my country in a few weeks I was buying stuff for my parents and younger siblings.”
“I called [my parents. They] can understand English to an extent, but it is much easier for them if I speak our native language.”
“So I was talking to them and asking them if they needed anything. There was this woman, she was older than me, in her 50s I would assume. In the same aisle as me.”
“And here’s why I may have been TA. I looked at her and well she looked at me and we made brief eye contact(which I think made her feel like I was talking about her maybe that’s why she said what she did?).”
“A second later she tells me to speak English. I ignored. She repeated and I rolled my eyes. Then she raised her tone a bit.”
“And thats when I snapped and told her to f’k off and mind her business(in a Much louder tone than hers). There were a few people who noticed and I was too embarrassed so I quickly left after. AITA for yelling at her?”
Anonymous strangers on the internet were asked if and where guilt belongs by declaring:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
- NAH – No A**holes Here
Redditors believed the OP’s strong reaction was warranted and that the shopper should have minded her own business.
“NTA. Hey, she asked you to speak English, so you gave her a whole-a** sentence in English! The content of that sentence is her own fault.” – TimTam_the_Enchanter
“Who cares what language someone is speaking if they’re not speaking to you?”
“You don’t have some god-given right to eavesdrop on other people’s conversations.”
“There’s also no ‘official’ language for the USA (Assuming OP is in the US based on them being married to an American). And even if there was one or more official languages, unless you’re dealing with the government you can still speak whatever damned language you please.”
“What that hag said is racist as f’k, and I think f’k off may have been a little too civil even.” – Cooky1993
“She had no right to tell you to speak English. I f’king hate that attitude. I wish I spoke another language enough to do it as well.” – blackghost58
“NTA, no idea where random people have gotten the idea to dictate what language people speak when they are not part of the conversation.” – IrateAuntie
Many clarified for the OP that the woman was being racist.
“NTA This was almost definitely just some racist old bag trying to keep her ‘merica ‘clean.’” – DuncanCant
“NTA. She was repetitive and yes 100% racist. F*ck her and her bs.” – ItsTheBroski
“NTA. That’s racist! Were you talking to the woman in your native language? No.”
“Her racism is such that she can’t even abide being in the same area where a non-English language can be spoken, apparently. AND she doubled down by insisting AGAIN that you speak English in a conversation she wasn’t involved in? Racist and rude.”
“You could have been a little nicer, hit I don’t blame you for your reaction at all. She escalated the situation, not you. Sorry people suck, OP.” – mckinnos
This person insinuated that politeness no longer seems to cut it when dealing with instances of racism.
“I agree with everything you said except for being nicer. No, these racists need to be put in their place.”
“It’s 2020 and that sort of behavior is no longer acceptable and they need to be shut down every time.” – Break_The_Spell
“In this particular situation…I can’t really think of anything more appropriate than ‘f’k off’ to some racist harrassing you while you’re minding your own business on the phone.”
“OP is NTA, and in general you’re right. But I also think in the vast majority of situations though, while it’s important to call that sh*t out immediately and not stand for it, straight aggression in response sometimes does nothing but increase tensions and confirms their bullsh*t negative views of minorities.”
“If there’s a calmer way to make your point, I think people should try it, at least at first. Make them look stupid carrying on at someone clearly not engaging.” – Ivegotthatboomboom
“It’s 2020 there’s no need to appease to racist’s humanity anymore. Tell ’em all to f’k off.” – Wendon
“NTA. I’ve told people to f’k off when they’ve told OTHER people to speak English. Demanding people speak a particular language is brazenly rude and racist.” – virtual_gnus
“NTA. If you’re dealing with racism there’s no requirement to be polite at all. Anyone claiming otherwise is using tone policing to silence you.”
“Racism is a systemic form of abuse and people being abused are inherently likely to be very upset and angry, denying them this anger is a form of abuse in itself.” – spiderbabyinapram
“NTA. What’s up with Americans and their obsession with English? The world is multilingual for chrissakes!” – Mandypurppearl
“Absolutely racist. I’m Asian too, and I always talk to my mother in her native language, even in public and in front of people (because she’s not too fluent and I need to translate sometimes). Might seem rude, but no one ever said anything to me. NTA.” – miwa_k
“NTA. The phrase I’d actually use is ‘f’k off. Is that Anglo-Saxon enough for you?’” – Sufficient_Bag_4551
Overall, Redditors declared the OP as NTA, and they dropped a few F-bombs as well to convey their loathing for the eavesdropping woman.