Let me clarify: I am not scared about having a multiracial woman as Vice President of the United States. But, I am fraught with anxiety over how people may react. Despite how amazing America is, America is definitely not without fault. There is a dark side to America and one of these is the racism that still exists in this country.
As a person who identifies as Hapa, I have faced my own share of discrimination. When you are standing with one foot across two very different racial boundaries, you struggle to fit in. But, you usually can’t because you find that both of your sides are perpetually at war against each other. You also have people who tell you that you aren’t white enough, or black enough, or Asian enough. You also have people who still go by the old-fashioned one-drop rule, which states that if you have even one-drop of African ancestry, then you are black.
I strongly believe that everyone is entitled to identify however they wish. If they choose to identify as one ethnicity, that is their prerogative. If they choose to identify as both, then that is their choice.
If they choose to identify as just American, then that should be OK. It should be OK for anyone to identify as nationally and even ethnically as American. After all, many of us were born here and many of our parents, grandparents, great-grandparents, were Americans. But it isn’t OK for some people.
For some people, they believe, either out of ignorance or background, that someone who looks “exotic” has got to be from a different country. They believe that those “exotic” looking people can’t possibly be Americans.
They have this view in their minds that an American has to have a certain hair color or eye color or even skin color. But that is so far from the truth. America is a melting pot, comprised of people of different colors and religion. This is not a monoethnic society. This is a multiracial society. We are made stronger because we live in such a society filled with so many wonderful people who have different experiences and backgrounds.
One day, I’d love to live in a country that identifies a person not by who their ancestors or parents were, but by where they are from: America. Where you are from shouldn’t be determined by the origin of your parents or grandparents. Where you are from should be determined exclusively by the place that you were born or raised.
And then, that should be enough. It shouldn’t matter so much what color or race someone is. It shouldn’t matter where they were born: in America or elsewhere. What should really matter is what kind of person they are. What should really matter is how kind someone is to another. What should really matter is who someone is on the inside.
I love that the next vice president of the United States of America could very well be a person of color. I love that the next vice president could be not only the first black and first Asian vice president, but also the first multiracial vice president. That is such an amazing feat for this country. And I am so proud. But I am still scared of how people will react.
I am so scared of what people will say. I am so scared of the expectations that would be put on their shoulders. The entire expectations of the black, Asian, and multiracial communities are on their shoulders. That’s such a heavy burden, and yet, probably a necessary one. Because America needs this.
And yet, we shouldn’t vote or choose a vice president based on a person’s race. What the vice president looks like should have no bearing on the outcome of the race. Instead, what should matter is what kind of character that person has. What should matter is how kind that person is. What should matter is what that person does — and will do — to make this amazing country truly great again.
Race should no longer be on the table in America. But, sadly, it is. Racism still exists in America. People still get judged and discriminated against for looking a certain way. People still get killed for simply being in the wrong place at the wrong time. The only way that America can truly be great is if there was no more racism. The only way that America can be great is if we accepted everyone for who they are and not what they look like.
That is my greatest wish: for people to accept everyone for who they are. I long to see a day when multiracial people aren’t judged or labeled. I long to see a day when multiracial people are free to just be.
How do you feel about the current Democratic candidate for Vice President of the United States?