The Only White Person In the Room
State: The Netherlands
1st encounter: not until I moved to the US (Atlanta, GA) at age 25 did I first encounter racism. Most notable was when I visited the immigration office in downtown Atlanta to collect my visa papers. I was dressed in a suit as I would go to the office immediately following and entered the waiting room early in the morning. There I was disappointed to find some 200 people already there waiting their turn as only 5 service windows were present on the far end of the room. However, a lady behind the service window gestured me to come forward and I did. She then helped me right away, keeping all the others waiting. I was too surprised to make a fuss, but being the only white person in the room and the black lady behind the window helping me directly while some 200 folks from what appeared to be a Latino background was such a blatant act of discrimination which was shocking to me.