I was not born in the United States of America. I was born half way around the world in Nagoya, Japan. I am half-Japanese. I am 46.875% White – for those of you who inspired this post, that’s less than half…if you don’t understand the numbers, go back to the grade in elementary school when you stopped paying attention and try learning something for once – a lack of education is the only explanation I can come up with to explain the bigotry, the hate, the racism.
I have asked myself many times in life Am I White enough (or Asian enough)?
Generally it would be right before meeting a girlfriend’s parents. You see, I understood that both my parents’ and my grandparents’ generation came from a time when there was still great social unrest. When I was born in 1969 the Civil Rights’ Movement was in high gear; World War II had ended just 25 years earlier. Information traveled much more slowly then and so did change. My American grandfather (a Captain in World War II) forbade my father from coming home to Florida with his Japanese wife. My dad, ever the progressive called him after I was born and said, “I’m coming home with my wife and your first grandson.” When confronted with the reality of his adorable grandson, the barriers fell somewhat. Still, as a young adult, I was always conscious of the fact that the members of the generations that came before me may not be as accepting of a mixed-race person as those of my generation, and presumably those that came after.
Until recently, I have never asked myself if I was White enough to be considered a real American; but then there was the San Antonio Mariachi Kid thing
followed by the MLB All-Star Game Marc Anthony thing
and I had to start to wonder…am I White enough to be considered American? Would White and Black America light up Twitter with words of hate if I sang the National Anthem for a game (assuming I could actually sing)? Did White and Black America wonder “who is that Nip throwing out a first pitch at Fenway?” when I threw out the first pitch at a Red Sox game a few years back?
Did they ask, “What has ‘Merica’s game come to?”
Yeah…click on the picture of de la Cruz to see the nasty tweets sent his way. They are not just from White America.
Both Sebastion de la Cruz and Marc Anthony are American citizens. They were BORN here in these supposedly United States; and yet these “real Americans” tweet away, calling them all kinds of awful names. I was NOT born here, but because my father is an American, I was deemed a citizen of the United States of America the moment I was born. I have been a proud American since the moment I drew in my first breath of air and that pride had never and still has not wavered…but I am only 46.875% White.
And now I wonder…am I White enough?