Travel Stories from an Asian Man #7 (Boston Edition)

Links to stories #1, #2, #3, #4#5, and #6.

It’s been a long time since I last posted a travel story that had to do with race, but three incidents this past weekend inspired me to write this post.

Incident #1:
Random woman on the street (directed at me): “Ohayou!”

Incident #2 (while waiting at a T stop):
Man: “Can I catch a train here to go to Boston College?”
Me: “I think so.”
Man: “Thanks. Are you a student at MIT?”
We were not near MIT’s campus.

Incident #3:
Not related to me being Asian, but as I boarded the plane at Boston Logan to leave, the gate agent said loudly, “First class only. We are boarding first class only”, clearly directed at the whoever was behind me. I turned around and saw two black women.

5 thoughts on “Travel Stories from an Asian Man #7 (Boston Edition)

  1. They won't understand nuttin'

    Oh come on man. You’re just calling out that D*ck from The Gate to try and write some inane garbage about how “I don’t really get Asians but this isn’t racism right?” bullsh*t.

    As nice as some of these people we all know are from the ‘Miles and Points game’, a disturbingly large majority of people in ‘this community’ have little to no significant/relevant experience with cultural/ethnic issues that plague or negatively affect their own lives on a day to day basis and will not look upon instances such as this with empathy, sympathy or even mild curiosity.

    Many of us in this community have done and are decently good people but far, far to many among us interpret their own travels abroad and visiting lands that are not their own and meeting people who do not look like ourselves for A WHOLE TWO DAYS, to be some feathers in the cap of our own racial awareness and sensitivity. Or at the very least a flimsy license to say whatever ignorant or mildly bigoted thing they want on their blogs, counting on it to shield them from the responsibility entailed with saying such things.

    It is hugely troubling that being abroad for the entirety of a few days or a week and talking to ‘people of color’ somehow now allows some of us to believe we are free of our own ignorance and racism.

    Going abroad and traveling extensively is NOT THE NEW “I can’t be racist, I have A black friend! How dare you?!?!”
    Having a black friend does not make you any less a racist than a man that has a girlfriend makes him any less a sexist. Traveling extensively does not make you any less a bigot. At the very least, not any less an asshole Brian of The Gate, et. al.

    1. Edward Post author

      Thank you for the comment. I will admit that I do not read The Gate, but I did meet Brian at BACon, where he 1) remarked condescendingly about the title of my blog and 2) mentioned a blog post that he wrote about Asians and how he didn’t understand why people got so riled up about it.

      I largely agree with your sentiments. In particular, so many of these blogs espouse a form of travel that is about as sterilized as you can get (e.g. fly first class, stay in Western hotels on points). I myself am guilty of said trips, and it’s hard to say that you’ve really experienced anything that would challenge your perspective during these trips.

      And yes, the miles and points game is dominated by white males. But I don’t think that the people in the points/miles sphere are necessarily any more prejudiced or ignorant than those outside this sphere. Everything that you write I think is common of people who exist as part of the majority.

  2. Marie

    I’ve had that third incident happen to me – but only in the US. Not once in Asia did anyone double check my boarding pass or give me a look when I got in the business class line. Only at home have I had to be forceful about getting in the premium check in line or going into a lounge. Mercy. I’m young, African-American and 5’3″ to boot. The assumptions people make are downright disgraceful.

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