Why I Am Scared About Having a Multiracial Vice President

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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?

The 5 Best Things About Living in America

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Recently, I asked this question on Twitter:

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With everything going on in the US, I was genuinely curious what people really thought and felt about this country.

Growing up, I was raised by a mom, who was probably the most realistic person I’ve ever met. She refused to be swayed in the magic of the American Dream that just seemed to happen out of thin air to some people. She knew that in order for that to be a reality you had to work at it. Nothing in life was free after all. She knew that America wasn’t the land with the golden roads and endless opportunities.

America was real. It was as real as the air that you breathed in inner-city Detroit or the smoke permeating the air in California. Sure, America wasn’t perfect, but neither was life. America is a place where people can dream big and where people can say what they want about whomever they want.

So, the best thing about America, I would have to say, is the freedom.

1–Freedom

We have freedom here in America. We are free to speak our minds. We are free to own and carry a gun, thanks to the second amendment. We have freedom to walk outside and organize a protest to fight against injustice. We have the freedom to fight for what we believe in. As Americans, we are free to do these things because that is what this country was built on. And it is one of the things that attracts so many to come here. Because when people are not free, then they live in fear. And what kind of life is that?

2–Landscape

There is no doubt that America is a very big country. In fact, it is the third largest country in the world, right behind Russia and Canada. Because of that, America boasts so many different types of landscapes. By driving or traveling by train from coast to coast, one can see so much of the terrain. And one can be amazed and in awe at the Rocky Mountains to the Grand Canyon to the warm waters of the Atlantic Ocean. Every state, including Alaska and Hawaii, has something unique to offer, rather its the climate or the geography, or the mountains or the desert. There is something here for everyone.

3–Diversity

It is definitely no secret that America is a very diverse country. Some countries in other parts of the world are known for being quite mono ethnic. But in America, it is nice to be able to walk outside and see people who have different skin color and features and are of varying heights and sizes. It’s hard for me to imagine what it would be like to live in a country in which everyone have the same ethnic background. For me, as a biracial individual, that would almost be an impossibility.

The fact that there is diversity in this country is what makes America great. Because there is diversity, it gives us more opportunities to learn about people’s backgrounds and cultures. It makes us more open minded and tolerant. Of course, America isn’t perfect and we still have a long way to go to combat some of the internal racism that unfortunately many people are still experiencing today (including yours truly).

But we can combat this racism by first and foremost embracing diversity as one of America’s greatest assets and not as a disadvantage or an annoyance.

4–Strength

America is a very young country, and yet it can’t be denied that America is a very strong country. When an outside force threatens us, then we, as Americans, come together as a unified force. Unity is oftentimes the only thing that can help beat a greater adversity.

I remember after 9/11 happened, so many examples of patriotism cropped up in the media. Even more recently, we were — and continue to be — united during the Covid-19 pandemic. We remained an unbreakable force on social media, even when we were under lock down and physically separated from other Americans. After the tragic murder of George Floyd, so many people risked their good health and lives to speak out against the injustice of it all by marching together.

Whenever something horrible happens, Americans stand together. This unity is what makes America great because it transforms the non-believers into dreamers.

5–Dreams

In America, dreams can come true. At least, that is what I’ve always been told in history books and novels. In America, if you have the idea and the dream, then you can achieve it. In America, if you work hard, then you can move up the social economic ladder and even, eventually, break and shatter the highest glass ceiling. In America, anything is possible if you have a dream and enough nerve to achieve it.

So, America is a country that still has a lot to learn, and it has made a lot of mistakes. But at the same time, it has also done so much good for other people and nations. Because of that, we shouldn’t give up hope on America. We should keep believing that one day, perhaps sooner than we think, America will be even better. As long as we remain united, then all things are possible.

What do you think? What is the best thing about America? Feel free to comment here, or on my twitter thread. I’d love to hear your thoughts!

The Four Best Reasons for Black Out Tuesday 2020

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This morning I logged on to Twitter and saw that the #BlackOutTuesday2020 was trending. My first thought was: What the heck is Black Out Tuesday? I scrolled through the tweets and soon learned that Black Out Tuesday is a day that consumers don’t buy at any store except black owned businesses and franchises. The purpose is to impact the economy using the powerful force of people who all have one goal: to stop systematic racism.

Change definitely needs to happen. It is only with the combined power of many can we create change. Discrimination and racism has existed in this country for a long time. Sometimes it is overt racism, and sometimes it is more subtle. Whatever it is, it needs to stop.

Here are the four best reasons why we need #BlackOutTuesday this year:

1–A black man died in this country after being restrained in the neck by a white cop. This is not right. The way that that man was treated is not right. All people should be treated with respect by law enforcement and other people in power. No one should be treated to violence just because of the color of their skin or their societal status.

2–Black people, as well as Asians, Hispanics, and multiracial people, are still undeniably minorities. So, we need to encourage people of color and anyone who supports people of color to stand together. Only by standing together can we change the world.

3–Black Out Tuesday is supposed to bring a stop to the economy by the lack of a combined spending power from its supporters. Only by making big impacts can we expect to see change now and in the future.

4–Black Out Tuesday is also a day to celebrate creativity. On this day, go read a book or watch a movie by a person of color. Or, read blogs, listen to podcasts, and watch YouTube videos by people of color. It is a day when we celebrate the minorities and the disenfranchised people in this country. It is a day when we acknowledge how far we have come because of people of color.

Why do you think we should have #BlackOutTuesday?

What It’s Like Being Hapa in America–Part Two

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What are you?

I’m Hapa.

What’s that?

Labels are great. I loved the moment when I discovered that I could self-identify as a Hapa. I am not just white. I am not just Asian. I am Hapa. I am a mix of both worlds and cultures. I am of two races, but at the same time, I belong to a race that is separate from the white and the Asian worlds.

But, in my experience, whenever I’ve told people that I am Hapa, people often look at me with a confused expression. What is that?

What follows next is a short explanation of what a Hapa is. It’s just not as mainstream as the racial terms black or white or Hispanic or Asian. But that’s OK. I like it. I like calling myself Hapa.

Being Hapa — having a label that perfectly fits me — gives me a great sense of joy and pride. This is who I am. I am part of an amazing community of Hapas. I am part of a community of people who have faced similar experiences, both positive and negative.

This is why the #BlackLivesMatterMovement and any other civil rights movement is so important. It is important that people need to have a voice. People need to join together and fight for what they think is right. People need to treat everyone the same, no matter the color of their skin. Also, people should stop making judgments on someone just based on the color of their skin.

The color of a person’s skin is probably the least important thing about a person. It is one thing that we have no control over. No one chose to be white or black or Asian. But we can all choose to give each other respect and love.

If we stop judging people based on the color of a person’s skin and if we stop putting people in these racial categories, then maybe the world might just be a better place.

What does racism mean to me?

In light of George Floyd and other recent events, this has been a hot topic lately. So, let’s discuss racism but more specifically what it means to me. To me, racism is what happens when people judge and make assumptions. Racism is when people just look at the color of your skin and make judgments on a person’s character based on preconceived stereotypes.

In this country at least, people are so fixed on putting people into a certain category of race. Well, not everyone fits neatly into a particular category. Some people, myself included, are mixed. We can identify as more than one race, or no races, or just multiracial.

As a multiracial person — someone of white and Asian descent — I’ve spent the vast majority of my life having people call me really derogatory names. I’ve had people make fun of me for the color of my skin, the shape of my eyes, or even the way I talk. Having grown up in the deep south only made it worse and succeeded at accentuating my differences from the people around me.

Being different from other people can cause misunderstandings, hatred, and prejudices. These racial differences are what is separating us in American society. The quicker that we can come together as one race, as one nationality — Americans — the better off we will be. Why are people called African American, Asian American, white American? What can’t we simply be American? We were all born here, we grew up here, so we are all American. We shouldn’t just be defined by the places that our ancestors were from.

We should be defined by who we are on the inside. We shouldn’t be judged every time we walk out our front doors. We shouldn’t be scared to call the police. We should simply be. We are Americans. Together, we can achieve much greatness, but only if we are united. After all, this country is called the United States. For as long as we are united, we will be great.

Here are some books about race that I really enjoyed: