Photo by Lorie Shaull (Flickr/cc)
As a third-generation American citizen who is 25 percent Filipino and 75 percent German, I’ve spent my life fielding questions about my ethnicity.
“You must be from Mexico or somewhere down there, right?”
“Are you sure you’re not a little bit Mexican?”
It seems the only “race” you can be in America if your skin is brown is Mexican.
Since the start of Trump’s campaign, I have been directly targeted with at least three unprovoked instances of racism and blatant ignorance.
During the primaries, I was at work when a man came through my line. As I was checking his items out, he told me he was excited to vote for Trump. I told him that I was from Nevada and expected my home state would vote for Trump as well.
“How do you like being in the states?”
Um, excuse me, sir? How do I like being in the states? As opposed to what?
At that moment, I was in such disbelief that I just started laughing.
“Well, my great-grandfather fought in World War II for the U.S. and the two generations before me have loved it here.”
For those of us who are anything other than visibly 100% white in this new era, such comments are only going to become more frequent. Since ripping people limb from limb is frowned upon – even when they’re racists – here are four alternatives that will help you maintain your dignity and composure in the presence of jackasses.
1. Be Yourself
2. You Are Appreciated
No matter if you’re Black, White, Hispanic, Muslim, Korean, part of the LGBTQ+ community, Filipino, or otherwise, your contributions to this country are appreciated. For those of you who are immigrants – or even undocumented immigrants – working hard at the jobs that no one wants to do, you are appreciated. Even those who espouse bigotry will say that our country is built on hard work.
3. Be the Change You Want in the World
Things don’t just fall into place, and we saw that first hand when a third of our country didn’t even vote in the presidential election. Since the beginning of Trump’s campaign – and even today – thousands upon thousands have hit the streets protesting and bringing up the issues that are happening in this country today. As citizens, no matter race or religion, it is our duty to continue to work and fight towards building a nation we aren’t embarrassed to be associated with.
4. This is Your Country
If America is your home, you’re meant to be in this country. This country is just as much yours as it is mine. Never forget that even though there are clearly hateful and ignorant people out there, there are also plenty of people who are kind and generous. Our country thrives off diversity and culture, so might as well embrace it. This is the United States of America, not the Whites-Only States of America.