One Love

5D694E82-DE2C-4B5E-B5DB-683A2E3A1020.gif

 “I don’t like it when people think I’m racist because I voted for Trump,” a friend of mine said.

It’s well known that Trump is racist. Does voting for him mean that my friend is a racist as well?

Short answer: No. Yes, he’s white. Guilt by association is a fallacy. Yet he tends to find white people boring. More on this later. My friend likes a lot of the policies Trump is making and is working toward, including the wall. The problem is that he voted for a guy who skirts the line of being a white nationalist and prefers to hang out with dictators and shuns democratic leaders.

So why am I his friend?

Short answer: He’s a good dude. Though, he and I disagree on a lot of things, we can have debates without getting emotional. Not because we’re manly men. We are. I’m free to hate on his ideas: religion, political views, prejudices against whites. But I love his toilet humor, his love of motorcycles, and his compassion. Since he has no power to make policy for this country, I’m not giving someone the ability to make stupid choices like building a wall to try and stop the illegal immigration that is happening.

When someone votes a person into power, they support that person in their entirety, whether the voter disagrees with any part of their world view or not. So my friend may not be a racist, but he put his trust into someone who is. And now that person has the ability to affect policy in a way that fits his warped world view. And if it favors some people and not others—the rich, for example—then the country suffers as a whole.

Now, I’ve heard several people making the proclamation that white people are boring. I’ve definitely made that same proclamation about FOBs. We’re completely wrong. And, yes, this is about not judging a book by its cover. Even though when it comes to books, I do. I know it’s wrong, despite being an author.

I think because my upbringing was in the San Francisco Bay Area, where diversity is a key feature, I’ve met many interesting and boring people. And what they look like rarely defined that quality. My friend grew up in a predominantly Caucasian area, so somehow that might have skewed his  perception. I tend to find people interesting if we can have cool in-depth conversations. Often times I don’t find that out until I dig a little deeper, since most people live in a very politically correct mindset, and I don’t.

51483AE5-8960-4287-8886-1CB4607F5928.gif

I know in parties I’ve been the boring one because I might have felt insecure for some reason and wasn’t able to let my real self out. I also know that what can make a person interesting depends on the observer. So I may want to geek out about storytelling, others may find that ghastly dull. Or I may want to talk about how The Satanic Temple is doing good work in separating church and state, and people will stare at me with despair and want to run away but doesn’t for fear of being viewed as rude. So when it comes to conversation, it takes two to tango. And it’s this fact that my friend and I get along well, despite our vastly different world views. Within that friendship, we also find a lot of things in common. And I think people are all generally this way. We all want a certain level of security, connection with others, to be happy and content, and to be at peace. If we realize this, then tribalism can be minimized. Wasn’t this what Bob Marley sang about in One Love?

Go Back To China

The New York Times ran an article on the front page in response to racial slurs against one of their journalists, Michael Luo, the author of said response.

A video with #thisis2016 tag soon followed, showing other Asian Americans sharing their own experiences with racism:

I saw the video on Facebook and asked my friend who posted it if he'd experienced this kind of racism. Like me, he said he hadn't, but an acquaintance of ours had. I actually laughed at some of the racist comments, but that's not because I hate my own kind (humans?), I don't. It's because I have a weird and salacious sense of humor, which has cost me some friends. But were they ever my friends in the first place?

There was a part of me that hoped these experiences were due to the regions these offended Asians lived in. However, New York is probably the most diverse city in the world.

I think part of racism is how we view the world. Hear me out. I had gone on a hike in the Bay Area with a friend. He was looking at a map to figure out the trails. Afterward, he started to back up and continue on the hike. A biker sped down the hill and yelled, "Open your eyes!"

My friend thought the biker was being racist, not realizing he may have walked into the biker's way. I don't recall the biker yelling the words slanty eyes, but I don't go around looking for people to hate on me for being Asian. There are plenty of other reasons to hate me. Just ask those would-be-friends of mine.

From my friend's perspective, he'd been wronged by a lot of people who don't like Asians. He even goes so far as to not ask non-Asian women out because he doesn't want to get rejected due to his ethnicity. There are plenty of other reasons for women to reject you, buddy. Yeah, we don't talk anymore. He's one of the would-be-friends. Sometimes our own prejudices color how we interpret people's treatment of us. 

Though, the article stated that a woman had yelled, "Go back to China!" That would be hard to mistake for anything else but racism. In light of all the hate in the world, this is nothing. Let me explain:

I have a friend who is an Asian woman, and she voted for Trump, loved his rhetoric from his campaign, and fully supports it. There's a lot of fear in her. Anger. Hate. And, as a result, she suffers. I've explained that she causes a lot of her own turmoil, that she succumbs to her own thoughts of fear, anger and hatred. If she were to let go, meaning didn't focus on those thoughts, didn't hold on to them, or delved into them, then she would come out of her epic fucking fog.

But she doesn't, said she can't, so she remains in her own suffering. And the only way to express that suffering is to spout out things that reflect it: fear, anger, hate.

She spat at me, "You're a bleeding-heart liberal," because I voted for Hillary Clinton. Obviously, my friend was just repeating what she's heard because the last thing I am is soft-hearted. She knows this because I don't let her get away with saying stupid shit to me.

When someone hates on you, the issue doesn't lie with those hated upon. It lies within the haters. Because if a person is filled with love, then spouting fear and hatred would be the last thing they'd do with their free time. Unless you have sadistic humor like me.

If people realized the basic truth, that all of this fear is created within their own minds, that it's not real, then so much of the suffering in this world would disappear.

We're not all perfect like you, Jimmy, my ex-girl friend would say. "I know," I often responded.

If being human is perfect, then we all are. Meaning we have moments of happiness. Moments of despair. We can create the most beautiful things the world has ever seen. And can commit the most horrid of acts. Welcome to the human race.

Why So Serious?

“Here...fix my watch. Your kind made it,” a bully had said, shoving his Casio watch at me. Thank tha lawd this wasn’t a recent event because sometimes my big mouth writes checks I can’t cash. This occurred during my junior high years. Obviously, what the bully said was racist.

Somthing's In My Ear
Somthing's In My Ear

“You will not be punished for your anger, you will be punished by your anger." – Buddha

A friend of mine watched The Wolf of Wallstreet, starring Leonardo Dicaprio, directed by Martin Scorsese. My friend said it was racist because one of the characters was named Chester Ming “The Depraved Chinaman".

Are you fucking kidding me?

My sensitive friend was serious. I stated that maybe in real life that was Ming’s nickname, and given how the movie ended, Scorsese wasn’t going to make the PC choice and rid him of his moniker. Shit. None of Scorsese’s movies are PC.

"Only if we are secure in our beliefs can we see the comical side of the universe." – Flannery O'Connor

“Learn to laugh at yourself,” I stated.

He argued that I hate my own culture because I mock Chinese accents, often greeting people with “Herro”.

“How important is your culture to you, buddy?” I asked. He rambled on with no clear answer.

“I know more Chinese than you do,” I said.

“And that’s the real shame,” he admitted.

When people spout about how important culture is, I usually never cry out against it. But I will analyze their lives and see how important it is; my friend talks the talk, but doesn’t walk the walk. He doesn't speak a lick of Chinese. 

It’s like anything in life. If it’s important, you’ll do something about it.

Why Are We All Bald
Why Are We All Bald

When my niece gave birth to her daughter, she had read books, blogs, articles on how to raise children, researched the potential causes of autism, and began cooking every meal so she could control what her daughter ate. Diet was a strong suspect as the cause of autism due to the chemicals in processed foods.

My serious pal, however, stood his ground, assumed I hated my own kind, and we moved our conversation topic to women.

“If you can make a girl laugh, you can make her do anything.” – Marilyn Monroe