Tuesday, August 15, 2017

America the Beautiful

I've been writing a lot of angry posts about Trump for the past year. But when the racism hits close to home, I'm just defeated. No amount of anger can replace the hope that I've lost.

Last night someone very close to me was attacked by Nazi's, chanting Trump's name and spewing racial insults. Meanwhile, the other half of my friends still continue to make excuses for these people, still make excuses for their white supremacist President.

This is the America that I love? This is the land of the free that I swore to protect? 

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Living With Ahmed, Season 1, Ep. 4

I had been looking for my ironing board and iron for a few months. I was convinced my wife took it with her when she left, which didn't really make sense. But just to make sure, I asked all my tenants. I texted Ahmed, and he said no. Then he called me and asked, "What you mean orange bread?" I'm like wtf are you talking about. He says "You ask if I have orange bread." I said no, I-RO-NING BOARD. He chuckles, then hangs up.

A while later when he comes home, he asks me, "What you mean orange bread?" I'm like wtf are you talking about. He says "You text me, ask for orange bread." I say no, it must have been someone else. He says "No it was you, I show you." And he shows me my text asking if he had my ironing board. I say no, I-RO-NING BOARD. He chuckles, and walks away.

A few days later I walk into his room. And guess what I see right inside the door.

in the still of the night

I woke up in the middle of the night with a terrible charley horse. Not in the calves or quads, but in the levator ani (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Levator_ani). How do I know this? 1) I am a physical therapist. 2) I suddenly had to poop really bad. But in my state of delirious pain, I was still able to rationalize and figure that I didn't ACTUALLY have to poop, but because of the pelvic floor spasm, afferent nerve signals were probably being sent up to my brain trying to tell me I had to. Nevertheless, I went to the bathroom just to appease my confused pudendal nerve, and squeezed out a tiny poop. The charley horse was so bad it literally cramped the shit out of me.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

E Pluribus Unum

I feel as sad as I did on 9/11. Only I wasn't ashamed to be an American on that day. But I am still hopeful today.

We need to remember that somewhere beneath the rubble, there still is a nation of people that we love. Even as we degrade back to our Neanderthal ways, let's hope and persevere and dig each other out. Let's be the minority that refuses to suffocate under the ignorance, fear, and hate. As the discrimination, oppression, and hate crimes rise again, let's continue to stick together. Don't just "move to Canada" like a weakling, as if you never loved America to begin with. Yes, our taxes will increase and our economy will suffer and our freedoms will be taken away, but you will be needed here as more of our non-white churches are vandalized and burned.

To all of you white Trump supporters who still don't get it (you probably never will, but here I go trying once again). Hopefully, all of Trump's inflammatory rhetoric was just that, empty rhetoric. It is unlikely that he will achieve the massive deportations and the repealing of civil freedoms you all so earnestly voted for. But still, the de facto reality is that all of us minorities feel a little less safe, a little less American today.

It is exhausting living in a white world as a non-white. It's an experience you will never know. And you probably don't care. We've struggled all our lives to carve our place here, to belong in our own country. You've never had this problem. You also have never had a problem with the resurgence of the KKK, and a President that made it possible.

You wanted to Make America Great Again. Let's hope that it includes us in it too.

Friday, August 5, 2016

If you like swimming, don't join the Marines

Something very terrible happened to me today. We swam in the ocean for 6 hours, with fins, uniform, combat gear...you know, stuff you normally wear on a 6-hour swim. But that's not the terrible part (our team was the only team to finish). The terrible part is that I had to pee. The entire time. And I couldn't. I'm not one of those pee-on-the move types. Maybe the reason our team finished first was because NOBODY LET ME STOP TO PEE.

So I waited until we finally finished (thank The Lord Almighty). I inflated my life vest, clung onto the side of the safety boat, and relaxed my body and waited for 6 hours of pent up pain and misery to come out.

Except it didn't. I just couldn't go. It was like clogged. I reached down and pulled my compression shorts away to relieve some pressure and waited, and finally (thank The Lord Almighty again) I started peeing. But about 3 or 4 minutes into it, it inexplicably just stopped. Like faucet wrenched closed. Like hose clamped shut. Like when you for some god-forsaken reason voluntarily pinch it off, except it wasn't voluntary. The pain was indescribably worse than before. Everybody kept telling me to get on the boat but I was just in the black. Tunnel-visioned. Finally, as mysteriously as before, it started flowing again and I emptied out the rest of my 5-gallon tank.

Then I collapsed into the boat.

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Making America White Again

This post is perhaps something that is years overdue, but I guess also couldn't be more pertinent than it is now. Perhaps it's something that I owe to all of my white friends, and also yet another reason why Donald Trump must never become President.

I grew up in a mostly white world, where kids mock your parents' Chinese accents and pull their eyelids back to make fun of you. It's a world that none of you white people know about. You've never walked into a restaurant where everybody puts down their forks to stare at you until you awkwardly turn around and leave. You've never stood waiting at a counter for every single white customer to be helped before you. You've never had someone walk out of a polling booth and tell you, "I voted for Trump so that people like you will go back to your country" (I haven't either, but my friends have).

In the end, my experience has been mostly innocuous. I am, after all, of a minority group that seems to be less threatening to white people. I have no idea what it's like to be black, or Mexican, or Arab. For me, racism has mostly been a simple twist of ignorance. Not of suspicion or outright hate, like it often is for these other minority groups. I don't know what it's like to have to take my hands out of my pockets or remove my sweater hood every time a police officer is nearby. I don't know what it's like to have to convince a stranger I'm not carrying a weapon before asking him what time it is. I don't know what it's like to have to lie down on the ground, surrendering my hands to the air, only to be shot in the leg. And neither do you.

So I find it highly inappropriate for a white person to deny that we live in a racist society. And it is highly inappropriate for a white person to decry #blacklivesmatter. And most of all, I find it highly inappropriate for a white person to tell me that he wants Donald Trump to be my President.

The racist signatures in our country are getting louder, thanks to Donald Trump. Intentionally or not, his rhetoric and xenophobic temperament are re-empowering white supremacist attitudes. Again, most of you white people probably don't even notice it. Because for you, you have nothing to lose if Trump fails to be elected. The same is not true for the rest of us, if he is elected.

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

drink the poison

The problem is not Trump. It is not the Republican party or the rancid state of our two-party system. The problem is the portion of the American population that refuses to accept progress.

The country is moving forward. Everyone knows this. But instead of embracing it and applauding it, a minority of white conservatives have developed a pathetic complex of self-victimization. Somehow the advance of freedom and equality has infringed on their rights. Civil liberty somehow suppresses religious expression. Preemptive actions against mass shootings somehow threatens the Constitution. Minorities and immigrants are somehow taking away white jobs (Sorry, but we can't all be Doctors and Presidents). Give me a fucking break. The GOP apple has fallen far from the Reagan tree.

The country is moving forward. Democratic values now better reflect the vision of the American people. Refusing to admit this, conservatives reject any semblance of intellectual discourse and tout some sort of "liberal" anaphylaxis. And now they have collected all their dying idols and melted them together, and out of the fire hoisted up a twisted liberal demagogue masquerading as a Republican. The best champion they could muster to breathe the last breaths of conservatism...is not even a conservative.

The country is moving forward. Get on the train or shut your fucking mouth.