What Kind of Asian are you anyway?

I found this on my Facebook feed and felt compelled to share it. Why? Because I have a LOT to say about stuff like this.  But first, go ahead and watch it, it’s absolutely brilliant!

You may say, ‘hey, you are white, what’s your problem anyway? It’s not like people are racist towards you!’

Well…. let me tell you.

You don’t have to have people be xenophobic or racist to you to get hot under the collar about it.

I’ve witnessed idiots like the guy in this video in real life and resisting the urge to be rudely frank with them is getting harder and harder as I get older.

Xenophobia and racism are things I’ve witnessed all my life. And yes. I am white. But my dad isn’t, my husband isn’t. And my kids are a delightful shade of light brown. When I grew up in Germany I witnessed my share of xenophobia against my father. A man who speaks accent free German. On the phone no one could even tell he wasn’t a native. Then we moved to India. Now it was my mother and me, trout belly white, and very, very German, in another land. People there were never mean racist against us per se, but our difference was forever pointed out to us. Since we lived out in the countryside I went to a boarding school. There my ‘germaneness’ was much derided and made fun off. Since I am half Indian and lived in India, and so desperately wanted to belong, I tried to be as Indian as I could. But that was scorned, derided, and mocked even more. And so I gave up. I gave up and isolated myself to such an extent that eventually I became aware of a classmates sudden death only three weeks after the fact. I have some wonderful friends from my school with whom I am still in touch (thanks to Facebook), and I know that much of the negative experience I had was because we were kids, and they weren’t taught any better by their parents, but the memories linger.

Moving to America didn’t reduce my ‘otherness’ either. I have an accent, a fact every damned person feels compelled to remind me of from customers in my business to the baggers at the grocery store. ‘You have an accent, where are you from?’

Gee, you don’t say…..

I plan to explore some of this further and interview some friends and family about this, so… Tschüss for now!

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