Friday I was walking with an office-mate from India, and she asked me a question that I could not answer. She says that in parts of the country she can walk into a store or restaurant and they ignore her or say that the store or restaurant is closed or otherwise make it clear that people of her color (about the same color as the typical Mexican) are not welcome there. Sometimes when she talks to them and they realize that she's not Mexican they'll serve her, but her question is, given that the state religion of the United States is commerce and the God worshipped by people in the United States is the Almighty Dollar, why would anybody turn down the chance to make money off of her just because of her skin color?
I threw out some speculations -- maybe they're scared of brown people (I pointed out that our television shows, which are what tells most Americans what they're supposed to think and feel, invariably demonize dark-skinned people as criminals or evil people), for example -- but by and by, I just had to throw up my hands and say, "I don't know!". I mean, it's not as if she's asking to marry their sons or anything. She just wants to buy a soda or get a meal. Why would they turn down her money just because of her skin color?
-- Badtux the Puzzled Penguin
[Cross-posted at the Medley]