Oh, we’re back to this again? Sigh.
Apparently. Look…an(other) alarming spike in hate crimes against elderly Asians in polite Canada and Seattle society, cosmopolitan Manhattan and Chinese-intensive San Francisco.
I spent my entire life trying not to get singled out, get my ass beat, prove myself to white (and black) people, even other Asians, that I’m okay, I mean well, I don’t mean any harm.
You haven’t lived until a Japanese- and Polynesian-American gang up to throw out racial slurs that have been thrown at them.
Just a few short years ago, I was getting off a bus in downtown Seattle to pick up my temp check at an office building when two teenaged girls, black and white, decided to hassle me based on the color of my skin. They assumed I was Japanese because I looked Japanese (we all look alike, right?), and proceeded with the anti-Japanese rhetoric right on cue…bonding over how much they enjoyed roasting me, a total stranger, in public.
Irony, ha ha ha.
I knew as soon as COVID-19 locked us down last year in March that I’d have to watch my back. I prayed I was wrong. I prayed that in this day and age, people would know better.
It’s bad enough that this coronavirus reportedly came from Wuhan, China. Rumors that the Chinese government allowed COVID to run rampant all over the globe, while shutting itself down, stonewalling, lying, deceiving, etc….none of that fucking helped this situation.
Here we are, minding our own business — Asians of all kinds, from all walks of life, having nothing whatsoever to do with China, the Chinese communist government, Chinese spies — and all of a sudden, we have to deal with the unhinged and easily misled who have decided to hunt us down for sport.
These idiots can’t tell the difference (and really don’t give a damn) between Filipinos, Thai, Japanese, Korean, and Chinese people. Even Pacific Islanders are getting targeted.
None of that matters, anyway. If you honestly think all Chinese are guilty of spreading COVID-19 and spying for their motherland, you really need help mentally, and definitely a refresher course on world history. Start with “Tank Man.”
The other week, I was at a coffee shop with a friend, sipping my matcha latte and nibbling on my everything bagel, when a young, white couple kept giving us the stink eye. My friend, who’s white, noticed first.
In less than a week, my family and I are moving to Idaho. The part of me that is always afraid is worried that we won’t be received well. My husband, who’s white, will be. But me? Who am I kidding?
I show up with my flat face and slanted eyes, and it doesn’t matter that my (adoptive) father was an Irish-English-American retired Army sergeant who played trumpet and drums in the military band and wrote for the “Stars & Stripes.” That I spent most of my life in the U.S., moving around as an Army brat, from Louisville, KY and Ft. Shafter, HI, to Ft. Dix, N.J. That I went to the University of Hawaii in Manoa and graduated in 1986 with a journalism degree. That I hate the Chinese communist government and everything they stand for. That my favorite food is spaghetti and meatballs. That I’m about as American and as patriotic as the next red, white, and blue. That I’m a card-carrying Libertarian who doesn’t believe the government is the answer, ever, but believes in fiscal responsibility, law and order, and the Constitution.
I can’t explain that in the 1.5 seconds it takes for some stranger to take one look at me and react with pure hatred and rage and resentment for a year lost to a vicious virus that neither of us was responsible for.
I can’t help what I look like, or the circumstances of my birth.
Believe me, if I had a choice, I’d request a do-over and be born blonde and blue-eyed — one of you, accepted and safe — because this black-and-white world made me hate my Korean face more than any white supremacist could.
But I don’t and I can’t.
Please don’t kill me.