I am dismayed by this post about a brown-skinned professor who gets detained by the authorities simply because he leaves a bag full of discarded manuscripts to be recycled.
I am angered because I can relate. Despite the fact that I am highly-educated and a professional, that I am a full-blooded American who was born here, and that I love this country more than the fascist thugs and thieves who happen to be in charge right now, I am de facto still considered an outsider, and while I haven’t had the cops called on me yet, I’ve certainly had my share of stares and glances full of suspicion and fear.
And, although the writer of that post feels that this incident may not warrant mention because of the tragedy that occurred last Monday, it is strangely pertinent.
I don’t have any sympathy for what Seung-Hui Cho did, and I am grieved by the carnage he inflicted. But I can perhaps see where the seed of his alienation sprung from. In high-school he was mocked and bullied and made the object of racist taunts. “Go back to China,” they told him, despite the fact that he is Korean.
I suppose I should consider myself lucky that I grew up in a multicultural polyglot city, where I wasn’t the only brown-skinned kid around. On the other hand, this is kind of disheartening, because despite the fact that not everyone around me was white, people still said racist shit.
I recognize that most kids simply don’t know any better. While a lot of the shit that people say when they’re that age can be cruel and evil, it has a lot to do with context. Our identities begin to solidify during adolescence, and this is when it is crucial to fit in or else you become a pariah. Other kids will latch on to the barest of insecurities and ride you for it. Mine was not necessarily a happy childhood. I certainly could’ve been a lot worse, but it wasn’t what I would call great, either.
What is worse is that there are fucked-up people out there promulgating this idiotic myth that somehow Cho was attached to Islamic Jihad, just because he used the nom de guerre Ismail Ax. C’mon, you ignorant fucks. The guy is Korean. When was the last time you met a Korean Muslim? And I know you ignorant crackers can’t tell the difference between different Asian ethnic groups anyway. “Go back to China,” indeed.
And never mind the fact that he expounded quite explicitly on Jesus Christ and the Crucifixion, envisioning himself some sort of Christian martyr being stoned to death for being different. If anything, this guy was a Christian terrorist, on par with Eric Rudolph, Clayton Waagner, and David McMenemy. It sickens me to think that people defend this kind of bullshit just because they happen to have the same religion as these fuckwits.
I am reminded of the quiet anniversary of Jackie Robinson’s first game in the Major Leagues last week. ESPN ran all sorts of retrospectives, including people still alive from that era, and it really weirded me out. Just think, a couple of generations ago, the majority of people in this country assumed that you weren’t human if you weren’t white. That is some fucking weird shit. What is wrong with people?
And still, even as we immerse ourselves deep into the 21st century, ignorant ass-monkeys still expound disgusting philosophies about the racial superiority of white people, and they continue to see immigrants, specifically, black and brown-skinned immigrants, as less than human. To these throwbacks from the Dark Ages, I say, fuck you all, suck my dick, and say “hi” to Hitler for me when you get to Hell.
The 15th anniversary of the L.A. riots looms ahead, and as trite as it seems, I still remember Rodney King’s plea: “Can’t we all just get along?”