There’s a lovely little Jamaican restaurant in Pensacola. I can’t remember the name, and I’m not sure if it’s authentic Jamaican food, but I do know that the few meals I had there were full of yummy greatness. This one particular dish though, was out of this world. I had never (to the best of my memory) had lamb before, so I thought to try it out. I think it was a curried lamb over rice. Oh. My. God. That shit was good. One day I brought some in to work with me (at the time, I was working at a Mexican restaurant), and everyone who saw it inquired what I was eating. When I said lamb and they took a look at the dish, the reaction was-without exception-disdainful. People were like “you’re eating that?”, and I said “yep, and I’m loving it”. I didn’t let their scorn for the meal affect my enjoyment of it.
Unfortunately, not everyone is in a position to simply “let things roll off their back”. Especially people who experience such derision on a regular basis. People like the Asian-Americans who experienced ‘Lunch Box Moments‘ while growing up:
Jubilee Project: Voices is a five-episode digital series collaboration between The Jubilee Project and NBC Asian America. In each installment, they gather Asian Americans to answer a single question, with the hopes of sparking conversation and encouraging others to share their stories too.
The first video asks, have you ever had a “lunch box” moment? Asian kids, you know what I’m talking about:
I don’t blame the [presumably] white children. It’s not their fault that they were born into a culture that shows such contempt for cultural dishes they are not accustomed to. I place the blame on society at large for othering Asians, and Asian dishes, as well as on the parents who reinforce such negative views. It really sucks to experience microaggressions at all, but it kinda sucks doubly for kids to experience them before they even know what a microaggression is (or even spell the word).