Discriminated against at the grocery store

I am 2nd-generation Italian. I am easily recognized as being Italian, and it’s no open secret. I can speak, read, and write Italian. It is my first language also.

So today at the grocery store, I had an Italia shirt on, and myself and another person (mid-40s white woman) both converged on the express lane at the same time. I only had a gallon of milk. She thought she had me beat and muttered, “■■■■■■■ zip.”

I was shocked. I hadn’t heard that term in years. I almost wanted to ask her if she was from New York, because that’s the last place I encountered that term, namely, in Queens. I live in the Phoenix area, and most of the hate here is directed towards Hispanics. Guess no one’s immune. I can’t say I got bent out of shape or wanted to lash out, I was just stunned someone out here in the desert harbored those feelings.


I can understand your feeling of being discriminated against. I am a Chinese, and when I was in Australia, I always felt vulnerable in public because of my ethnic background. Actually nobody picked on me, but I just felt unsafe and fragile because of my accent, posture and culture. This is a pain in my heart.

But I don’t understand why the Italians and the Greeks are discriminated against in countries like Australia?

@alien99, That is so perplexing I bet. I have never understood when people with Italian heritage gets slurs thrown at them. I’m sorry you had to deal with this.

My family is half Mexican and with all the fear and hate towards Mexico right now, we get our fair share of people asking for our green cards. People have asked if I’m an anchor baby. The phrase that has been resurfacing has been spick and wet back. I’m just confused why there is so much hate. The odd thing is, it only happens in the “better” rich neighborhoods.

Everywhere else leaves my brother and I alone.

When my brother says he’s faced more stigma being half Mexican then being Sz he’s not joking.

I hope you don’t have to deal with this person again.

Thank you for letting me post.


Narrow minded people are everywhere. No town is too small to not have some.


I’ve never even heard the term zip for an Italian. You should have told her that slur was really reaching. People are confusing and I’m sorry that happened to you. Maybe she will appear on Fox news telling people that the Italians are stealing all of America’s dairy products. Then Bill O’Reilly will go 'First our milk. What’s next our yogurt? Our chocolate covered ice cream bars?

It all comes down to how people differentiate between self and other. It is easy to put people in the other category if they look different from you. It is especially so if you were raised that way. It reminds me of a quote from Law and Order. It was early Law and Order with Richard Brooks. I think he was only on the first two seasons. He was talking to this congressman about race relations. He said that we are at the hearts and minds phase. Legally America is a great standard for equality. But racism is still rampant in the minds of the people. That is what we need to work on and change.

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Green6 - back in the 80’s, my parents (of Eastern Euro background) were discriminated against all the time (in Australia). It wasn’t ‘racism’ as such because both are white, mum is blonde…

My dad went to the pharmacist one day and wanted to weigh himself on the scales…it was 1986. Being 6’6 and about 102 kilos, the scales only went up to 100 so he got back down. The pharmacist or pharmacist assistant said something to the effect of ‘These scales only weigh normal AUSSIES’. They encountered that sort of stupidity regularly.

Mum was a university graduate (Masters in Math/Science) so she went to have her transcripts translated and then contacted a University for advice on how to get into teaching. Mum spoke perfect English but had an accent. She was told, no kidding, ‘How do you expect to teach with an accent like that?’.

Her confidence was shot and she started working in a factory a week later…thinking that’s where her ‘kind’ belonged (factories were almost always staffed with european immigrants back then).

Both eventually found their feet but and nowadays, things are much improved but it still makes my blood boil when people make racist comments, especially around me, thinking that because I’m white, I won’t take offence. Ugh.

It’s definitely surprising to hear people make those remarks these days, it’s less accepted…but if you go into the outer suburbs of Melbourne, for example…simple mindedness is still rife…and disgruntled, lazy, welfare recipients often complain that the ‘wogs’ or ‘chinese’ or ‘indians’ have taken their jobs…

In Sweden a nazi party came in to the government. Ppl voted for them. That is scary. None of the other older parties want to co-operate with them. They all turn their back against them. The nazies try to convince us they are no nazies just a normal political party for Swedes who cares for the Swedish culture and heritage. They want to stop forigners from coming to Sweden.

Thank you for your post which leads me to a better understanding of the racism in Australia. Some narrow minded people were really ugly by dividing people into Anglo -Celtic and Non Anglo-Celtic, and into white and non-white…

Thank you for sharing this with all. I am shocked.

probably not the same thing but i got heckled for wearing glasses last week and i think it was bc i was a white person :frowning:

i just walked past this group of people and fixed my glasses and they were making funny noises and i heard some not very friendly words including the words glasses,

worst thing was that they were the tourists and i was like ‘that’s not very respectful’ :frowning:

Sorry that you had to endure that crap, I never heard of the term ‘zip’ before, maybe its a term used in the West?
I have heard of the term ‘guido’ used before, a common term in the East, against Italian Americans - at any rate, prejudiced type people exist everywhere - welcome to the world

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Also experienced the same thing. Someone told me only people with Downs Syndrome wear glasses. :eyeglasses:


i think these people are taking worse drugs than us :frowning: they are really stupid


sorry that happened.
take care

Man, that blows. Is this type of overt discrimination common in the U.S.? We have some up north, but ours more subtle and sneaky. What you folks down south put up with seems pretty outlandish. :frowning:


Quite, unfortunately. It almost seems it is region-dependent. In the South, black people seem to bear the brunt of it. In the central area, it’s plain xenophobia. In the West, it’s mostly Hispanics. People in the East are just mean to every one (sorry East Coasters - just calling it like I see it, I was raised there). This is an over-simplification, but the truth is that while we are a so-called melting pot, nothing is homogeneous.

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Guido, goombah, dago, guinea, greaseball, wop (without passport), heard 'em all.

Please stay strong. They have got to know we are all descendants since the Noah’s days…


I’ve lived in various places of the north east coast all my life and have yet to understand people’s characterization of people here as cold and unfriendly. A lot of people from the southern states tend to say this but I really don’t see it. I guess I prefer a society in which people mind their own business though.

As for being discriminated against for being of Italian descent, wow, never seen that either. I mean everywhere has their bigots but as for the north east I feel it’s probably better than some other regions as far as that goes.