Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Difference between 1974 and 2006


In 1973-1974, I was enrolled in an elementary school here in the United States (Los Angeles) because we were stuck here for a year while my mother applied for her green card (a permanent residency). I was in fourth grade, and I remember my class as being pretty international. It was probably about 60% white and 40% blacks, latinos and asian.

One of the clearest memories I have of that period in my life is being mistaken for a Japanese.

This was during Bruce Lee's ascension into stardom, during Kung-Fu's long reign over the airwaves, during Hanna Barbera's Kung Fu Fooey. How could these people have mistaken me for Japanese?

I remember being very incensed at the ignorance of Americans.

When I attended high school and college here in United States, I still ran into this mistaken identity, but much more rarely. How could ignorance be rampant in a school for higher learning? At U.S.C., we had clubs like the CSA (Chinese Students Association), the HKBSA (Hong Kong Business School Association) etc. Maybe it was because I hung out with "furriners" that I felt the sting of American ignorance so little.

That was then... This is now. Things should be different eh?

But then I read an article like this one: and I realize, maybe not.

So what if Barack Obama's middle name is Hussein? Umm do you remember a guy by the name of Muhammed Ali? Or Kareem Abdul-Jabbar?

I am SO very tired of the high school cliquishness and stupidity of these pundits who go on television.

As the great Bard once wrote in a play,
"What's in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet"

Grow up, pundits, willya?

 
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