Ever had those awkward moments where your inability to communicate well with others leads you into trouble, say mistaken for molester? Well, the guy in “Typical American” had. Trust me I could relate. Not that I had ever been mistaken for a molester in a way, but when I was a freshman and students were visiting campus and had crowded around the general hangout area, I was just walking around with a Monster in my hand waiting for class to start when I was accosted by a police officer. Now imagine the scenario. I, an African American technical teen in a hoodie, being confronted by police. Does this remind you of anything? I gulped/choked my Monster and asked what’s the problem. He said a high school student had called saying that I was walking as if I “knew where I was going”. Those were his literal words. A student had spoken up saying I was a student there but he still demanded to see some ID so I showed him my license and he let me go, and went wondering insulted who called the cops. Now I’ve been called a good kid all my life, and seeing how close I had got to being arrested just because I happened to be walking in the same space as some teens who weren’t much younger than me. The dude in the book was of Chinese descent and was reminded that “sneaking” wasn’t tolerated in the U.S. Yeah, he made a mistake and yes the man who confronted him had every reason to be upset, but seeing how the Chinese man took it in the aftermath because of his simple naivety and his background made me classify him as a woobie (look it up). It reminded me of myself. It’s so tough, especially if you’re a minority, that you get seen in the wrong light because of awkward situations. Goodnight.


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