Monday, December 11, 2006

Monday Notes..

So self and *A* were shopping at the local Indian grocery store. When we shop we
prefer using cloth shopping bags that we have. It’s the whole reduce/reuse/recycle thing. So as the store clerk finishes ringing up our stuff, we started putting our purchases away
in our bags and then on to the cart. We usually leave the cart in its place near the entrance. There was another woman in her 50s behind us, she appeared to be Indian too.
She asks *A* “Do you folks need a ride home?”
*A* who is always sweet replies with one of her charming smiles “No, thanks we have our car”.
The woman says “Oh, ok I thought you might need a ride since I saw you using cloth shopping bags”.
*A* .. “Well thanks for your offer but we are fine”.
As we left the store we were both smiling about it. I mean it was sweet of the woman to ask if we needed a ride home, but we found it amusing that merely using cloth shopping bags for shopping
put us in some “category” in her mind. I don’t know about you folks, but I have seen a few people here do their shopping using cloth shopping bags instead of using the plastic bags that stores provide.


Don Viti wrote about this horrible episode where a woman in Wilmington (of Indian origin.. last name Patel) we arrested for scalding her 3 year old daughters feet in the shower tub
with scalding water as a form of punishment. This was reported in our local newspaper The News Journal. On their web site it also happened to be one of the top stories that had comments
on them. So I read some of these comments, and while the woman is rightfully condemned by a lot of people. I found a lot of the comments just plain stupid, ignorant and if I might say somewhat racist. To be fair some of the other comments did say that her actions had nothing to
do with her being Indian. But on the whole I am not surprised, some samples below. More here

by: atiberi02- Sun Dec 10, 2006 7:50 am
Has this psycho mother
forgot that in her culture husbands can burn their wives becasue they are
considered property rather than family and get away with it so she should be

This may be tolerated in India
(I'm assuming with that name she is Indian). It may have been the way she was
punished. We should educate people on proper punishments for children and whats
too far. This was way too far though..she should be boiled alive.

that poor child and the mother's bail in only
$10,000! what was this judge thinking? lets torture
her and see how she


Let her go back to India where she belongs! You
know how I feel about some
foreigners; some of them don't belong here; I
would just love to chase them out
of this country

kachoo, you are an ignoramus...child abuse knows no
racial boundaries. All Americans are either
foreigners or descendents of
them. Bigoted cowards like you who spew this kind of crap and then cry "freedom
of speech" are what's wrong with our country right now. With freedom comes
responsibility. At any rate, I don't know how a mother can do something like
this to her child...I
hope she doesn't see the light of day until that poor
little girl is all grown up.


Maggie said...

That last comment was beautiful. Couldn't have said it better. I love how people conveniently forget all of the other news stories we've seen of child abuse by perpetrators who don't fit into their hate profile. Child abuse knows no racial bounds is exactly and sadly true. The real problem here is how to educate ALL people on proper child rearing. But with a government that takes the time to define torture, how can we successfully combat child abuse?

Diana said...

I'm trying to figure out the nice 'ride' woman. I'm guessing she thought you were using the cloth bags because you were poor? And therefore didn't have a car? And couldn't afford to take the free plastic bags that the store uses?

Nice but odd.

Especially when the nice, reusable cloth bags are something you'd have to buy for yourself, right?

Asha said...

Hello buddy! Cloth bag is a great idea,I am accumulating 100s of plastic ones to recycle!Some Indians are just good people,aren't they?She didn't have to ask you at all!

How was the movie btw?

John said...

Cloth bags.. never thought of it. I guess they are a bit stronger than the plastic ones I suppose.

Lol, you should have offered that woman a cloth bag ;)

And that incident sure is freaking madness and add to it the dumb racial comments. The last comment sure covered all the aspects.

Sai said...

@ Sanjay:

LOL about the woman at the "desi dukaan" as my husband likes to call it.

I read about Jignisha. This is so sad. She must be under some terrible depression! Eww about the racist comments. Well sometimes people wear their ignorance on their sleeves *rolling eyes*

Sanjay said...

@Maggie.. Yep. I was surprised well nto so much that some fo the folks want to torture the mother, as if that helps?

@Diana, Yep thats what I thought too. Yes we had to buy the clothbags except for some that *A* got for free.

@Asha, We do recycle but by using cloth bags we are (in a small way) reducing their use.
:-) @ the remark about some Indian ppl.
The movie did not work out. *A* was tired and not too well, will see it this Saturday. Yep that incident with the mother surel brought out some "well meaning" folks.

@Sai.. funny term, have not used it in ages.
Yep the prejudices came out of the woodwork in this case.

Paresh said...

There's nothing to think about here :)

She did assume you guys were poor. How poorly stereotypical of her.

M (tread softly upon) said...

Smiled when i read about the cloth bag incident. But inspite of preconceived notions and stereotyping atleast she was nice enough to offer a ride. That makes up a little for the assumption methinks :)

Sanjay said...

@Paresh.. yes she did.

@M.. You know that's what *A* said too. I wonder if it was the well worn jacket and the torn jeans that I was wearing? *A* as usual looked great and dresses much better than me.

Donviti said...

the comments harken to a similar post I made regarding the Mormon girl that was abducted by her parents. I am sure you read it.

It isn't surprisng to me that people would stereotype Ms. Patel based on her name.

It is truly a shame that people think that way, but alas our media is a wonderful tool for fools

Elizabeth said...

A few years ago my local supermarket was selling cloth bags with their logo on it. I assumed we were supposed to buy them and use them for shopping. But I am the ONLY person who does this! Each time I shop I have to tell the checkout clerk "I have a bag." I always wonder--what do most people do with their plastic bags? They're not recyclable in NYC.

Sanjay said...

Don, I had read your earlier post too.
Tools for fools.. indeed.

@Elizabeth. I did not realize those plastic bags are not recyclable.
We have a decent recycling program for our city, but there are a lot of things that they won't yogurt containers.
Thanks for stopping by.

Carrie said...

That is a great idea, Sanjay! I never thought of using cloth bags. I'll mention that to Adam. We normally just recycle ours but that is just more quaint.

I cannot believe that it is almost 2007 and we still live in such a racist time. Those comments almost make my stomach hurt.

Sanjay said...

@Carrie.. Your local grocery might have some for sale.
We have ways to go before we truly become a more tolerant society.

Mona Buonanotte said...

The human race never ceases to amaze me, with the stuff that drops out of their mouth....

Keshi said...

**! You
know how I feel about some
foreigners; some of them don't belong here; I
would just love to chase them out
of this country

Whoever that was he/she forgot to realise that's a very RACIST thing to say. So he/she is no better than that mum!


Eli said...

Yeah, I'm sure "beemerized" would take really good, loving care of an Indian baby. Riiiight.

listmaker said...

We've been using our reusable shopping bags for 20+ years. In our old town the grocery clerks used to roll their eyes when we asked them to use our bags, but in our new town we're not unusual at all.

As for the article about the mother and baby, the comments weren't just somewhat racist, they were blatantly racist (and pathetic).

starry nights said...

I think more and more people are using cloth bags now.,it is good for the environment,nothing to do with being rich or poor. about the mom it could have been an accident, or could have happened to any mom .

Shionge said...

Yo Sanjay :D Just happy to read your update that's all.

Enyur said...

Aww lol! That was sweet of her...but isn't that like 'stereotyping' lol! Yeah, I have seen people carry cloth bags. Some of the grocery stores here, charge .05 cents for a plastic bag...I guess the most economical way would be to have cloth bags.

deepsat said...

i think its great to use cloth bag! atleast you are making an honest support for the environment!

guess the old lady was sweet and too concerned!! ;-))

Anali said...

You are very good to use the cloth bags. I'm one of those people who ask for paper and plastic. I use them instead of buying plastic garbage bags for the kitchen, so I figure that is good for the environment too.

And for those comments... I guess I shouldn't be surprised with the things that come out of peoples mouths anymore, but it still shocks me. The way people can so quickly go there when the topic at hand had nothing to do with race.

And the last comment was incorrect in saying that all Americans are foreigners or their descendants. There are peoples who were native to the Americas whose descendants are still here.

Shitrint said...

had something like that happened to me, like the woman placing me in some "category" in her mind, i wudve felt so embarrassed... funny how people can think in only certain ways!

the scalding issue brought out comments from ppl saying that they wud like to do the same with the mother whos accused here. well its a natural reaction , but id like to ask them, dont they also fit into the same category as the mother by getting provoked and race-oriented and wanting to mete out the same treatment to the offender here? and where does the topic of 'race' come in over here? american whites can be as ruthless or more like any other other person on this planet!!

Dan said...

Sanjay, my wife and I use large cloth bags every time we go to Whole Foods in town -- and we get a 5 cent discount per bag. Whoopee!! We usually save an entire quarter that way! But no one has yet asked us if we needed a ride home! ;)

In regards to the second item, ignornace will always be with us. I just try not to let the stuff bother me. Easier said than done, though.

Intern said...

Thats an interesting anecdote with cloth shopping bag ...
I've never tried that , maybe i should.

Lucia said...

As a cloth bag user myself, it's great to see that you've made converts just by mentioning this on your blog!

Yeah, ignorance, especially about other cultures...what is there to say?

Anonymous said...

Sigh! The wierd ways in which people react....

Dreaming in Metaphors

Anonymous said...

For some strange reason -- I am not able to log in!


Aditi said...

Well, lots of people abuse children and in far worse ways then simply scalding their feet.. i wonder where those people "should be sent back to" in the eyes of the commentors

neda said...

hi, neda from Bombay.

about the shopping bag: i am happy with the recent moves taken by certain shops here. some time ago in Bombay, light plastic bags were banned and shopkeepers were instructed to use paper bags only. but stopping it totally was not possible... meanwhile some very nice ideas have come up here, like 'fabindia' has designed very cute paper bags made of old newspapers, and they are quite strong to serve the purpose.. also i have seen some designers have come up with the idea of very elegant cloth bags, entirely made of cloth chips (that generally goes waste ) matched by color and shape; inspired by that i ve made several cloth bags and happily use them (this has become a nice hobby!)

iz said...

Sanjay, there's a problem with your page. Every time I load it internet explorer shuts! That's teh reason I haven't been able to drop in much. Anyway, hoping this gets fixed soon!