On Being Racist and Asian
Minyang Jiang
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I spent many years during my childhood before leaving (escaping) home to head away to university (born and raised in Australia) listening to my step-father rant and rave across the dinner table against anyone not Anglo — using the shorthand pejorative terms then in quite common use within the community: Wops and Dagoes and Reffos and Balts (which I always heard as Bolts) and Eyeties and so on — including epithets used against Indigenous Australian. Because of the way I was treated by that step-father (a war-damaged alcoholic) all this nastiness flew over the head of my brother and me — heard but not used. Determined never to be like him. My mother lived her attitude and feelings — friendly with all the people of difference in our rural street — those with non-Australian accents and with immigrant backgrounds stretching to The UK, to The Netherlands, to China and Italy and Germany and to Ireland — and to a young Indigenous couple who came into our street around the time I was heading away to studies. We have to find our own pathways to seeing those of whatever difference as our brothers and sisters — and you are finding your bright pathway Minyang. I have been privileged to live and travel widely throughout our world — finding kinship connections in most parts — and even if no close genetic connection — that other connection — of friendship. Brava!

Actually one other thing — there is a growing percentage of the Black population within The US which is not of that country’s appalling slavery history— but from parts of the Caribbean which have long ruled their own affairs — the background of so many prominent Black US men and women of high achievement. Check it out…

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