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.

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