heartbreak by microaggression

New Column! Remember when I posted my first post about what the intention of my blog was? Of course, you don’t. Well, sort of it was supposed to be like a journal. If I had a journal which I don’t because that’s for weenies. I have a diary. I would document all the little shitty things people say and do throughout the day that is racist. I don’t respond to those ill-conceived remarks because who likes an inflammatory pants, amiright? Enter heartbreak hotel- population: microaggressions. I document all the little racist bullshit people love to hear themselves say. And that’s helpful because?

Today, we visited Coupeville. Sleepy little neighboring town on Whidbey Island. We went there for Japanese fabrics. We are my mom and her mom, my grandmom. What a nice place! You remember the endearing late 90’s film, Practical Magic, of course. It was filmed in Coupeville. Partly.

Anyway, for some naive reason I was expecting to enter a cute little shop with an old Japanese lady behind the counter. I was gonna try to be close to my mom and look as Japanese as possible so she would maybe think I was mixed and not some random white shopper. If I mentioned something about Japan or visiting there then my okasan or obaachan might chime in about me being part Japanese and their son/grandson. Then the obviously Japanese shopkeeper would be like, oh you’re Japanese! How cool! Me and you are alike! That would be validating. You’re mixed and not obviously not white right? So you get it. Little pathetic but a little white supremacy too.

Turns out, much to my shouldn’t be surprised, that the old lady is in fact a white lady. A. white. Lady. No biggie. Does that even count as a microaggression? Not really when compared to like someone telling me I’m not a real Japanese because I don’t like seafood. But then I got to thinking about it. And before I go any further let me clarify I didn’t clarify any of this with the old lady. She could’ve been part Japanese just like me. Just kidding, no she couldn’t. So I was thinking she makes her livelihood of the selling arts and customs (not to be confused with costumes) of Japanese people. That’s weird. Maybe she like donates a percentage to the Nuclear disaster repair. Lots of people are still struggling through that right? Maybe she grew up fetishizing Japanese culture because she’s like 65 years old and when she was young all the Oriental images she saw were so exotic and frightening and beautiful? Wow bro take it easy she’s just an old lady selling Japanese fabrics, which your Japanese grandmom totally was happy to buy.

So we leave and go to the thrift store. At the thrift store, there’s dumb old crap from dumb old times. What happened during dumb old times? All the plates and cups and records were adorned with hella racist images of black people and Egyptians and Orientals. Basically a National Geographic design team swept through a ceramic factory. In this thrift shop is an old man. He is loud. He is white. I’d put him around 70. He talks to anyone. He tells my mom, “at least you smiled”. Gross. He talks some more. I try to maneuver us away. Of course that doesn’t stop him. “My friend was is WWII, stationed in the Phillipines, he was up there to get away from the Japanese…” Shit, let’s get out of here, now.

On the way out I did find hangers for 10 for $1!

Following Ferguson: Asian Americans Can Choose ‘Invisibility, Complicity, or Resistance’

 http://colorlines.com/archives/2014/08/following_ferguson_where_do_asian_americans_belong.html

 

Communities of color have unique experiences that should not be equated with one another. People of color in the U.S. all live amidst white supremacy, but not everyone lives as targets of anti-blackness. Jung argues that Asian Americans have three options: “invisibility, complicity, or resistance.”

Nina McConigley’s Book ‘Cowboys and East Indians’ Wins PEN Award

There’s a lot of great references to websites and authors and ideas in this article.

Like this – #WeNeedDiverseBooks

this – “I love Rajesh Parameswaran’s book I am the Executioner, Blu’s Hanging by Lois-Ann Yamanaka blew me away the first time I read it. Have you read Tarfia Faizullah’s poetry? Her book Seam is a damn revelation. And Akhil Sharma, Chitra Divakaruni, Vikram Chandra, and Jhumpa Lahiri have all been important to me.”

and this – “She is a very strong personality, and in some ways, I think I am very different than her. She is sort of fearless when it comes to walking into a room, when it comes to being secure in her identity. Maybe that’s because she grew up seeing a reflection of herself?

Holy shit, imagine the possibilities of not living in wscp!

http://www.nbcnews.com/news/asian-america/nina-mcconigleys-book-cowboys-east-indians-wins-pen-award-n182446