Bear with me, as I may not be at my most eloquent, for I am angry.
I am Scotch-Irish and American Indian on my father’s side. I am Japanese on my mother’s side. According to the US Census Bureau, I am a super minority at a collective 2.3% of the population. Factored for my racial composition, I am 8% of that 2.3%. I am about as a minority as you can get. That’s the data.
Growing up was often rough, especially my middle school years in South Carolina. I wasn’t white. I wasn’t black. Both races wanted to pick on the “gook” or the “chink”. Annoying enough that the racists on both sides couldn’t even get it right, even more so when I would defend myself and get suspended while the instigator – regardless of being white or black – would get away with his attack. I learned how to fight and how to use a quick wit to deflect the unwarranted hatred.
I was a military brat growing up. The US military was the first truly American integration effort. Yes, racism did and still does exist, but by the 70s and 80s, you were judged by your abilities (and political savvy), and not by your race. That was something drilled into me by my father from a very young age. My mother comes from a wealthy, powerful, politically connected Japanese family. You want a racist society? We Americans have nothing on the Japanese. That said, my mother also grew up to accept all races, and judge people by their actions. Again, actions and not race were the lessons she taught me.
I grew up picked on by all races. I am “indeterminate racial and/or ethnic origin” so I am the target of misplaced hatred. German people that hate Turks? Latinos that hate another Central or South American country? People that hate Asian? American Indians? Yup, been targeted by all of them. Do I stew in my laziness or do I continue to strive to be the man my parents taught me to be?
Racial profiling? Don’t get me started. President Obama: “There are very few African-American men in this country who haven’t had the experience of being followed when they were shopping in a department store.” So? I still get followed at my age. I still have cops stop me for driving in a nice neighborhood, talking to me in languages I do not speak, asking me why I am driving a new car. How about the black Fairfax city cop that insists on speaking to me in Spanish, even after I say I do not understand? The Maryland cop that insists I have drugs in the car? The York County cop that asks me point blank why I have a white woman in the car with me? Somehow, all of our experiences pale next to one race’s. Is that not racist?
What is with the media pandering for ratings, preying on white guilt? Why do so many Americans still weigh themselves down with this false albatross? Yes, American slavery was bad. Yes, the Civil Rights movement showcased the ugliness in some people. Yes, racism still exists. But the way to fight it is to shed this idiocy of white guilt, and truly judge someone by the content of their character and the substance of their actions. Regardless of race, if you’re pounding someone’s head into the cement, you are evil and you shall reap what you have sown.
Let’s talk about the riots in LA. Black rioters disproportionately attacked Asian families and businesses. The predominantly white LAPD chose to let the Asians fend for themselves. Where’s the white guilt over that? Does it not exist because Asians typically man up and continue to excel? Even more tellingly, where’s the collective black guilt?
When it comes down to it, we’re all Americans. I am not naive. I know racism exists. That said, we can continue to dump gasoline on that fire, or we can walk away and let it die down from lack of fuel. That’s up to us.