So I inadvertently managed to offend two latino women this weekend with racially insensitive/ offensive remarks. I typically don't even say anything that may be construed as racially insensitive, especially not to people who I feel may get offended easily. Also, I just don't consider myself to be a racially insensitive person. I have love for all people of all races, nationalities, religions, genders, sexual orientations, ... etc. But for some reason or another (Mercury Retrograde), I created quite the scandal at the Hollywood Farmer's Market this past Sunday. It was a weird day. I could feel the intense energy when meditating in my meditation pyramid that morning. I was nervous. Something was up. New York City had just went through a crazy record breaking black out the day before, and... to make matters worse, the government had started some serious cracking down on illegal immigrants (particularly latinos) that Sunday morning. I suppose racial tensions were high!
I went to the Hollywood farmer's market that afternoon and started having a conversation with a latino lady vendor. She was a quiet, somewhat disinterested, not particularly friendly young lady. She was just there to do her job... perhaps a job that she didn't really enjoy? That was her energy. She didn't seem to want to talk to anyone. However, she was wearing some beautiful crystals around her neck and so I commented on them and asked her what they were. We chatted about her crystals for a moment and then she asked me if I made the necklaces I was wearing which contained crystals, orgonite and energy devices. I told her, “Yes, I put these necklaces together myself. In fact, just this morning I made these 2 barrettes with shungite beads that I'm wearing in my hair. The reason I made them is because I usually wear a crocheted hat with shungite beads on it, but my friend laughs at me and says that I look like a mexican cook with a hair net on when I wear my hat. So I decided maybe I should stop wearing my hat in public and wear some shungite barrettes instead.” There was a silence. I realized that the whole “mexican cook” comment may have been offensive, although it was really just an honest story of why I made the barrettes.
So I said, “I suppose that was a racially insensitive remark.” The lady bluntly
replied with a nonchalant tone something to the effect of, “Well, it's too late for that now.” Wow! Her comment hit me hard. So I said, “Well, it really wasn't my racially insensitive comment. This was something my friend was saying to me as a joke. I am just recounting the story to you. In reality, I don't think any of us are really here. We're just spirits in physical bodies.” I was basically just trying to say that race doesn't even exist. Then I said, “ Well, we are in a Mercury Retrograde phase which is known for miscommunications, so I guess I've just had my miscommunication for the day!” And with that comment I walked away.
But I was still disturbed by the whole interaction and so I walked over to a vendor I knew at another stand and started telling her the story about what just happened with the latino lady vendor. This next vendor I was talking with happened to be an asian lady, but there was a latino female customer there at her stand as well who was privy to the entire conversation. The latino lady's energy was somewhat friendly towards me until I got up to the part about the mexican cook with a hair net on, at which point she said to me that she was offended. Oh my God! Seriously? So I said something about being Jewish and how if someone made an anti-Jewish remark to me I really wouldn't care. I don't get offended so easily. And everyone has the right to their own opinion anyway. At the very least, I do have the right to tell a story about why I stopped wearing my crocheted hat in public don't I?
In reality, my friend saying that I look like a mexican cook with a hair net on is really not an anti-mexican remark... It's just a silly stereotypical joke between friends... a joke aimed at me...not at mexican people. And I just happened to share this inside joke with people (of latino descent) who did not understand or appreciate the humor in it. In fact, my friend is actually a comedian. People are always making racially insensitive jokes on comedy shows, but all of a sudden it seems that everyone has become super sensitive about race. So my question is... why are we all getting so offended? Since when did it become so politically incorrect to make fun of different races and nationalities. Are we losing our sense of humor folks? Or is race and nationality just too touchy of an issue for us to discuss or make fun of anymore?
The asian vendor agreed with me. She told me that she knew the latino lady would get offended because she could already feel her negative vibe. She said she didn't understand why people were getting so offended by my story. It wasn't like I was attacking either latino lady personally. Another customer arrived just in time to hear what was going on and she agreed with me and the asian lady as well. She told me to check out a website called, “We all have the right to be offensive.” I felt so much better after speaking with these two ladies. I don't like making people feel bad and I don't like being racially insensitive. I don't like being insensitive at all. But the reality is... We all have the right to speak our minds and we all have the right to be offensive whether we purposely choose to be offensive or not. Perhaps people just shouldn't get offended so easily?
I walked back to the original latino lady who I supposedly offended and apologized for offending her (if I did) and I told her that our conversation prompted my next blog article. I meant to say “Inspired”- not “prompted” but the word prompted came out instead. I handed her my card and she told me that she would read my article. I walked away and that was the end of it. I almost offended a few more people at the farmer's market, but I stopped myself from re-telling the story again. I decided that I had offended enough people for one day.
Now I'm sure that some people reading this article will be offended, and so I apologize for anything offensive I may have said that has offended you... But now I ask you to ask yourself... why are you so offended? And how is being offended serving you? Perhaps we should all stop being so sensitive?
Or maybe it's just me... I grew up in New York, where everyone tells you to “Go F*ck Yourself” all the time and nobody gets offended. In New York we're all just keeping sh*t real and nobody seems to have a problem with that... at least from what I remember... I do miss that about New York sometimes. But yeah folks... seriously... you shouldn't waste your precious time being offended. It's really a pointless and unproductive emotion. In reality, we all have the right to be offensive and we all have the right to be offended or not offended. I can say what I want to say and you can take it however you want to take it. You get to choose how other people's words affect you and make you feel.. That is, if you are in control of your thoughts and emotions. Why not choose to feel good regardless of what anyone says to you? Why not choose to not be offended? If you want to live a peaceful, productive and happy life I think that's the way to go!
"Mindset. It's all about mindset
From the moment you wake up,
to the moment you rest your head at night.
Everything is up to you.
Your emotions, your thoughts,
your perceptions, your reactions.
“Your living is determined
not so much by what life brings to you
as by the attitude you bring to life;
not so much by what happens to you
as by the way your mind looks at what happens.”
"Nothing can stop the man with the right mental attitude
from achieving his goal;
nothing on earth can help the man
with the wrong mental attitude."
Jennie Haiman is a Reiki Master Energy Healer, Co-Founder of Self Saviorz Society California Non-Profit 501(c)(3), Poet, Author and Entertainer with goals to help raise the vibration and consciousness of humanity!