Last night I received a racist comment about myself from a guest.
While making a purchase, the guest asked me where I was from. “I’m from Southern California.” He looked and me said ” No like, where are you actually from, because well I can see you have a darker skin color.” I just continued to answer saying, I was born in California and have lived here my entire life.
” But where are you ACTUALLY from, what’s your parents nationality”
“Well sir, my mother is from the Philippines, while my father and his family were born in Nebraska”
“Oh well, It’s a good thing your dad is white, and you have that good side of you. But hey, at least your mom is probably a good cook- it’s probably what she could teach you”
I know a lot of people would be wondering why I didn’t say anything to him, or tell my lead, but to be quite honest I was too shocked and appalled that someone would want me to be my proud of my white side versus my Filipino side.
It’s clear just by looking at me that I am completely of white descent. I’m brown- I always will be,and I’m so happy that I am. But it wasn’t always that way.
I grew up often wishing I could have white skin because that’s what all the princesses were. I refused to watch anime and often avoided hanging out with other Filipinos because I didn’t want to fit into a stereotype I thoroughly grew up believing my white side, was the better side of me because of what was presented to me through the media, the same media that I wanted to make a career out of..As much as I could go on and on about this, I eventually learned to love my biracial heritage.
However part of me accepting and loving my heritage also comes along with me accepting that though I am a woman of color, I myself have to check my privilege because I don’t have to worry about just being another statistic if I let my grades slip. I don’t have to fear for my life when I see police officers. I don’t have to fear getting assaulted or even murdered when I go to the bathroom.
Racism is very real, that one comment I received doesn’t even begin to describe the brutality that occurs everyday. And the fact that we have a man runs on the fears of others possibility becoming our president terrifies me. And should terrify you too.
Racism and oppression still thrive in this country. And just because it’s not always as clear as Donald Trump wanting to ban all Muslims from entering the country doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen every moment of every day. To say that racism is over because segregation is just means you aren’t opening your eyes. Fear has created so much hatred and close mindedness. But if you truly look around, you would see the world is actually a magical place.
Immigrants and people of color are what make this country beautiful. They aren’t any less human than you are.
***And actually my mother never taught me how to cook, she did however teach me to treat everyone I meet with kindness and understanding.