Saluting the woman who stood up to a bigot, and the man who backed her

A shopper at Menards told a mother of three to "go back to Mexico" in an incident that was caught on video.

A shopper at Menards told a mother of three to "go back to Mexico" in an incident that was caught on video. City Pages

Reader Christiana Bogdanovich responds to 'Go back to Mexico’: Video captures racist Menards shopper in West St. Paul:

Good for you and the gentleman that assisted you in confronting this jerk! Sadly there aren't enough people out there right now that are willing to stand up to people like this, and that's because we're a very fearful society.

I am a Latina woman, but have been told I can pass for many ethnicities. Recently, I was taking a charter bus from Mystic Lake to the Renaissance Fair and was the last person to load the very packed bus.

There were easily seats available if someone scooted over. As I walked down the aisle toward the back, waiting for anyone to make room for me, I heard behind me, "I don't want that Indian sitting with me!"

I hadn't felt this hurt, embarrassed, shameful since I was bullied in gradeschool for being the poor, filthy, buck-toothed girl. Only difference was that this was being done by grown adults, but the sting was equally painful. I just wanted to disappear into the floor and bawl.

I am an intelligient woman who advocates strongly for people facing homelessness, mental illness and chemical dependency. I am not afraid to speak out when I see someone acting inappropriately. Often it has made me the recipient of much unwelcome attention, insults and public humiliation. But I know what I am passionate about and seeing others being hurt in any way is unacceptable, no matter how small or big.

If we want change, then we have to be that voice. We need to look at ourselves first and then radiate that change into our community. We have the power to initiate this change if we stop being scared to speak up.

Volunteer, smile at a stranger, and when you see something happening, stand up for what is right. Martin Luther King, Rosa Parks, Helen Keller, Harriet Tubman, and Maya Angelou were all one voice, not afraid to create a ripple.

Thank you for not sitting back and allowing this behavior! You are a very brave woman, as is the man who backed you up. Kudos to you both.