Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Who's Who?

I was reading this post at Steve Gilliard's, and this quote struck me:
"You can be a fourth generation Asian American and people will comment you on
how well you speak English. Despite that you're the third generation in your
family to have a college degree. They don't mean anything evil by it, except
that they are saying you are a lesser American."
This stood out to me, because I find it funny how we define who belongs. Canada is probably the most post-modern nation-state in existence today - to have some kind of ethnic image of a "Canadian" is frankly ridiculous.

That said, Canada is still a pretty white country, and I'd imagine that the experience for non-whites in this country is similar to what Steve describes. Better, hopefully, but we aren't angels after all.

(The closest this cracker has come to experiencing something like racism was walking through Chinatown in Toronto with my arm around Vicki. Boy, those old Chinese men have a glower and a half, let me tell you...)


Battlepanda said...

Hah! My experiences are kind of the opposite. When I went back to Taiwan with my (white as they come) boyfriend Gene, people kept complimenting me on such a handsome boyfriend and telling quite matter of factly that I should really lose some weight if I want to hold on to him.

(Believe me. I am not obese. By American standards anyhow.)

Vicki said...

They weren't glowering at you, hon.
The sun was probably reflecting off your white, white skin and directly into their eyes. 8 )
Luvoo lots, my big, handsome gwai-lo.

Flocons said...

Sorry for giving you the evil eye in Chinatown, man. I'm just following orders.

In all honestly, they may stare, but you haven't been tied to a burning stake or beaten up in a dark alley. All things considered, staring ain't THAT bad.

PS: I don't endorse stake burning or dark alley beatings! I'm just using them to create perspective.

john said...

Ah yes - the orders went out from Chinese High Command: "Thou shalt give white boys with chinese girlfriends the evil eye. Not out of malice, but just to creep them out."

Chinese high command, of course, is located in San Francisco. Where they make all the sweet and sour sauce, to keep the taste uniform throughout the world.

It's all part of your evil plan, isn't it? WHY WON'T YOU CONFESS???

Flocons said...

The sweet and sour sauce factory is a front. It's really the HQ for our fortune cookie propaganda machine... Oh no. I've said too much. I hear them coming! AHHHH!