Racism, Sexism, and Other “-isms”.
A couple of weeks ago I got a solicitation email from “Rev. Billy Gisher” looking for a link to his site, Less People, Less Idiots. I wrote about it on Dec. 1. I perused the site a bit, but am currently unconvinced as to the… well, that’s neither here nor there.
However, the Rev. sent out similar emails to others, and he got another hit from a pretty far-left blog written by – well, let me reproduce her self-description:
Sexually, I identify as straight, and racially, as Chinese Canadian, Asian American, or Asian Pacific Islander American (APIA). Calling me anything else is unacceptable. Religiously, I identify primarily as agnostic, but I also have tinges of buddhism, christianity, atheism and wicca. Yeah, I know, it’s weird. Politically, I’m a feminist (in the equal gender rights way, not the ‘die, man-creature, die’ way), a libertarian-ish democrat (officially unaffiliated with any party), pro-choice, anti-capital punishment, pro-gun control, pro-gay marriage, anti-stupidity, etc., etc., etc.
Her post about The Rev’s site linked to TSM, calling it (and I quote)
a super-duper-uber right-wing gun-blog
Well! I couldn’t let that go unanswered, so I left a comment. Come to find out, she’s doing graduate work at the University of Arizona here in Tucson, so I made certain she understood that the invitation to go shooting – “regardless of your position on the right to arms” – was most definitely open. The discussion got… interesting. One commenter suggested I invite my wife to join the discussion, since I mentioned she’s Okinawan by birth and by citizenship.
Now, my wife dislikes the internet, or at least the blogosphere, and I’ve learned to limit the amount of stuff I force on her from here, but I took him up on his invitation. Unfortuately, by the time I printed out the comment thread and gave it to her to read, it was time to pack the computer up for the work on the house.
Well, it got a reaction. She did something she’s never done before (and swears she’ll never do again). She wrote a reply. Longhand. I finally got the computer set back up last night, and I typed it up and gave it to her to proofread. She’s happy with it. If you want to know the background, please go to Jenn’s post Lesser Idiots, read the post and read the entire comment thread. But I promised her I’d post the piece here as well. Here goes:
Dear Asian Son and Asian Daughter:
My birth name is Hanashiro Kaoru. Hanashiro in both Japanese and Okinawan means “flower castle.”
I do not have high respect for people who hide behind a computer screen and argue and degrade each other in blog comments. I prefer face-to-face conversations. But then that’s me.
Life is so precious and so short… I’d rather live life. So this will be the first and last article I will ever post on any site. My time is precious. I have grandchildren to love and teach (just like all the Asian grandmothers before me.)
I am writing this not on my husband’s behalf. He is too narrow and close-minded when it comes to the Second Amendment. I’m certain that idea comes from his environment. NO! I do not agree with everything he believes. This article is directed mostly to you, “DumbGuy2,” who, by the way, requested my comments.
I have read many print-outs my husband has given me in the past ten years. Mostly they bored me. Into a coma. But your comments awakened something within myself that I thought “familiar.” The teachings of my grandmother and all the elders who thought that all Americans (Hakujin – whites) are bad. Hiroshima, Nagasaki, Tokyo. Battles fought in Okinawa. American occupation of Okinawa. So on and so on. Our history!
When I was nine years old I wore the band around my head and joined my fellow Okinawans in a demonstration against Americans, yelling in the loudest voice I could find, “Yankees go home!” How rad, huh? My Asian son, that year my mother remarried.
I was raised by my ancient Asian grandmother. I still remember most of her sayings: “We are from the Lord’s house. It is in our blood and in our name.” (Some of our ancestors used to work for the King of Ryuku – the Okinawan islands. So she said.) If you left a grain of rice in the bowl, you were yelled at for being ungrateful to the farmers who worked so hard to harvest the rice. Or worse, you were told that all those Chinese gods my grandmother prayed to would be mad, and SLAP!
Jenn, Okinawans from my grandmother’s generation lived by the Chinese calendar. Our ways are the same. Jenn you are young and intelligent. I’d like to give you an important (life saving) bit of advice. From an Asian mother to an Asian daughter, DO NOT MEET ANYONE YOU KNOW ONLY FROM THE INTERNET. James is so right. It is not that my husband is dangerous. He asked me to come if you agree to go shooting. (Too cold! I’m not going.) My husband is naive, but believes in his cause. I would not let my daughter do what he is asking of you. To meet a stranger with guns. Are you crazy?!
Jenn, go live life. Meet people face to face. Travel and meet and see and experience different cultures and their people.
Let’s go back to my Asian son, DumbGuy2. Hate is non-productive and that mindset will blind you from what is so good and beautiful about life. I know… I’ve done it myself.
I had a job that taught me the Greatest Lessons of Life. I was a language operator for MCI. We provided I think around 17 different languages for our customers. We were better than the UN. I worked alongside operators from all around the world. We worked beside the English operators – locals. There I learned, no matter where you are from we loved, we cried, we laughed. We all had the same human emotions. When we were physically hurt we all bled red blood. Asians, Western Europeans, Eastern Europeans, Arabs, Africans, American Indians, African-Americans, whites, Jews, we are all a human race. I teach my grandchildren (whites) who are raised by their Asian grandmother this: “There is only one race on this planet. A Human Race. Don’t ever forget it.”
My Asian son, the greatest man who saved me from this race-hatred that was taught to me ever since I can remember was an Irish-American white man. He is my father – my step-father. I never called him step-dad because he is the only father I’ve known and need. He is my saint and I love and respect him always. But because of all my teachings by the Elders, my father paid for it. Hate is a bad thing.
When my mother got remarried to an American, I was determined to revenge the shame that my mother had placed on my family. (I was only nine years old.) I was bad! My father never gave up on me. He never wavered, had all the patience of all the saints combined. He was always there for me. He taught me the true meaning of family and paternal love. I am writing this article on his behalf. Not all white people are bad. Some are great! My father, George Washington, Einstein, and so on.
So, my Asian son, don’t hate so much. Life is not about us being Asians. Life is about how we all live our lives. But due to my grandmother’s teaching, there are two promises I made that I can’t seem to break:
1) Never forget our language – I just know basic Japanese.
2) Never become an American. Funny, even though I’ve lived here 37 years I still see my grandmother’s face every time I tried to fill out the citizenship papers. So, I am still Japanese. But before my father passes away, I think my love for this great white man will prevail and someday I will become a citizen.
I will end here. No comments please. I’d rather be with people I truly love. Life’s short.
P.S.: Why didn’t the Elders ever mention Pearl Harbor, or the killings in Nanking when I was young?
Like I said in The Seven Things Meme post, she’s not afraid to argue her beliefs –especially when they don’t agree with mine!