I'm shopping at a local Korean Market with my girlfriend. we're there because every so often, she needs to make some "home cooking" and I appreciate this each time she does. I was an apprentice chef for awhile and I know quite a bit about ingredients from many asian cuisines, so I find these trips to be exciting. I pick up my panko my pocky and my nori and my girlfriend teaches me about the different varieties of sesame seeds, hot bean pastes, and which brands of gyoza skins are best for steaming. Seeing a white guy with an asian woman is not an unusual sight around where I live. As a matter of fact, there was another couple very similar to my girlfriend and I. The woman of the relationship rushing around from place to place, speaking korean with the employees and towing around a slighly dazed but cheerful caucasian male. He and I caught each other's eye in a glance of mutual sympathy and recognition.

However after a while my girlfriend drops me off in the small section of the store where they keep the cookware (i'm very particular about the cooking tools we buy). The only other people in that section was a white woman and her two (very) white children. They were speaking to each other in rather loud voices. They were rather insulting towards the products, the managment, and the korean people in general.

All of a sudden I am very concious of how white I am. I wonder why this woman even bothered coming into the store, and why she brought her little racist spawn (indeed the worst of the comments were coming from her children, and she did nothing to correct them). I made my own attempt to speak to them, but I was quickly shunned. I just had to sit there brewing in my whiteness, hoping that I wouldn't be lumped in with this group. Thankfully I wasn't.

I think that every ethnic group has a rather vocal minority of which the rest of the group is ashamed of. And I think once we realize that fact we can all get along better.

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