i was accosted at the coffee stand down the hill from my house today. as i was conversing with the barista (who burned my mocha, again) this incredibly fat woman (really, she was wider than she was tall. i don’t know how she was walking) came up and said “you have a swastika on your car!”
Incredibly Fat Woman: you have a swastika on your car!
me: yes, i have a swastika on my car.
IFW: that’s offensive, my husband is black.
me: i’m sorry you feel that way, but the swastika and the shatkona, the six pointed star design you see on the roof, is a symbol of Ganesha, the Hindu God of Removing Obstacles, and has been for ten thousand years! the nazi symbol you’re thinking of hasn’t even been around for 100 years…
IFW: i don’t know where you think you are, but this is the state of ermerika, not iran…
me: yes, and in America we have the freedom to worship the way we want, and display symbols that may be offensive to others. this is my way of getting back at the nazis who abused the swastika, by blatantly using it as a symbol of peace and goodwill.
IFW: … 😡
me: (as i’m driving away) how can a symbol be guilty for the acts of a madman?
i suppose i shouldn’t be surprised by things like this any longer, but this really affects me on a very deep level. what she said, "this is the state of ermerika, not iran", as though America is not "The Land of The Free", but instead the land of the intolerant bigots who refuse to accept the chance that there might be someone who thinks differently than they do… i’m tempted to go back and see if i can make friends with this woman and her husband, just to show them that the swastika is not to be feared… but i fear that if i show my face (or my car) around that particular coffee stand again, that i’ll probably be killed…
merry xmas… 😐