- Posted August 26, 2013 by
Fort Worth, Texas
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Everyday racism: Your stories
I am a Hispanic woman who lives in Fort Worth, but grew up in San Antonio. When I moved here 20 years ago, I had no idea that racism against Hispanics even existed, but I have come to learn it is fierce and is often minimized or ignored all together. In 2000, my children and I went to the grocery store. I paid for our groceries and we headed out to the parking lot when I heard someone yelling, "I saw you paying with food stamps!! Get a job and quit living off of welfare!" I turned around to see what all the commotion was about and realized that the white man yelling was directing his comments towards me. I turned around and kept walking, but he pursued me and continued by repeating what he said. Finally, I turned around walked up to him, flashed my credit card in his face and told him I had paid with my debit card, that I was not on food stamps, that I had a job working for the State of Texas and did not qualify for food stamps and told him that maybe he had me confused with someone else. Since leaving employment with the state, I have been subjected to a high level of harassment in the work place based on my Nationality by Caucasian supervisors and managers. The first time I reported it at the place I worked I was harassed in order to force me to leave, but I wouldn't. I couldn't without finding another job first. My employer interfered with my obtaining employment somewhere else by giving me a poor reference. Afterwards, they fired me based on false accusations from one of my bosses. I lost everything, I got sick with PTSD, I lost my opportunity to go to law school because I was too sick, they ruined my credit as a result. Prior to all this happening I had a 700 plus credit rating, I lost my oldest son who left because I was not supporting him by attending his sporting events (because I was so sick), I lost all of my retirement and the ability to use that employer as a reference (I had worked there for seven years.) After about a year and a half, I found another job and it happened again. Now I'm in my mid 40's and left to start all over again. I have one child in college and one getting ready to go to college and I have nothing to pay their college tuition with. My plan was to have completed law school by this time so I could pay for my kids college, so I could buy them cars so they could drive. We live in poverty, but it sure wasn't my choice. I went to college, I got my education, I tried to move up the ladder of success at work, but was stopped and if I complained about it, I was harassed and fired. Racism is still alive and well (especially in Fort Worth, Texas.) Fort Worth has a nickname, it's nickname is Old White Fort Worth, so I hear.