Another incident which is less funny and more creepy-racist: Around the same time, I worked at a center that offered adult skills training and language lessons. One older coworker there, a mid-50s white man, taught English to new immigrants. He would always corner me when we had shifts together, and offer to walk me home, get me a coffee, etc. I was all of 19 and looked younger. One late shift, I was trying to organize everything to close up, and he would not get out of my way. He starts telling me how much he enjoys his “Oriental lady students” (who even says Oriental any more?), how “you’re all so clever and eager to learn!” He tells me that he used to date an Asian woman, and we’re so lucky to have such good skin and cute overbites (!?).
I was starting a new job and we were having a stakeholder meeting as a lot of changes had happened over the last year so this would be the first time I met board members, community partners, etc to discuss the future of the organization. So I was sat next to this older white middle-aged man and in the meeting, he made a comment about how he was happy to see “diversity” with the new team as my manager was a brown woman and of course me being Black.