A lesson in empathy Vol. 5

Imagine you came to America and jumped through all the requisite hoops you have to jump through to attain US citizenship. You even speak English, but you still speak with your family and friends in your common native language. You worked damn hard to get where you are, and you bust your ass every day to feed your family.

Now, imagine a cranky old white bitch approaches you in the lobby at IHOP and demands you speak English because you’re in America.

Imagine people assuming you’re illegal until they see proof that you’re not. Imagine how that would make you feel, all those scowling, scrutinizing faces casting shadows of negativity at you all day long. Now imagine those people enjoying food your people invented without a trace of irony, all the while maintaining that they only have a problem with illegal immigrants. You know, though, that they’ll treat you like an illegal unless they know otherwise.

Imagine hearing someone say “That doesn’t really happen” about the IHOP example, even if the person who wrote this witnessed that very incident and has been told similar stories by others he knows personally.

Now imagine that you are an illegal.

Imagine mowing the lawns of rich people who look down on you like dirt and pay you as little as they can get away with. Imagine hearing yourself described as almost subhuman by angry people in red old man baseball caps. Imagine hearing about all the free healthcare and education and welfare you’re getting. Nobody told you! Where do you sign up?

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