Growing Up American

Their ancestors came to America on the Mayflower. And also via Philippine Airlines. 100% American.

Have you all seen the open letter by NYT editor Michael Luo about a racist exchange he experienced with his family over the weekend? A woman in a rush on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, screamed "Go back to China" to him and his family because they were in her way, as they lingered outside of their church.  In front of his children.  Didn't even have the balls to say it directly to their face.  Yelled it at them as she made her way down the block.  Dude was born here.

Reading his story, I could see myself in his place.  And it made me mad.  How is this real life?  I mean, I guess with Donald Trump as the official Republican nominee I can't be too surprised that bigots, racists and misogynists are feeling free to come out of their hiding places and voice their hatred in public.  I mean, a Presidential candidate is doing it, why can't they?

Ugh. It's disgusting.

My parents came to the United States in the mid-70's and became citizens to have a better life for themselves and for their future children.  I was born in America to Filipino-American immigrants.  I grew up in a city where the historically Caucasian population was overtaken by wealthy Asian immigrants looking for better lives for their children because of a superb public school system.  I went to college and joined a sorority in a mostly Caucasian Greek system.  I married a Caucasian man. I've seen the passive aggressive and the aggressive nature of racism first hand.

Besides being asked "Where are you from?" (Los Angeles) or "What are you?" (American), which are really benign questions in the big picture of things, the worst thing someone has ever said to me, was by way of a conversation with my husband. Someone once told him that his kids would be mutts.  Mutts.  This friend referred to our future children as dogs.  Mixed breeds.  MUTTS.

I know this person.  I know deep down he is a caring person.  Obviously with some character flaws.  But I also know that this type of thinking doesn't just start from nowhere.  It is taught.  Handed down through generations.  Does it make it right?  Hell no.  Did it make me mad?  You have no idea.  To so casually call these non-existent children mutts?  Was it worth my time to seethe in hate?  No.  Did he know I was offended.  Yes.  He did apologize, but it just shows you the extent of ignorance in people.  People you know.  People you may call friends.

This is just my personal experience.  Small in the big scheme of things.  But it's just a small snippet of racism today in America.  It's 2016.  I still see it to this day from people I would never expect it from.  It's just so disappointing.

And yes, maybe my children are mutts by definition.  Not dogs, but of parents of different breeds - half Filipina and half Caucasian.  But they are all American, just like their mom and dad.  And they are the cutest f'ing mutts I've ever laid eyes on.

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