men without a country

An excellent essay from recent Jeopardy! phenom, Arthur Chu, on the topic of race, specifically being Chinese in America:

This Is Not Your Country.

You can live here. You can make friends. You can try to live by the law and be a decent citizen and even maybe make a lot of money.

But you will never, ever belong. You will never, ever be one of them. And you must never, ever trust them.

[…]

We all live here. We all make friends here, eat the food, watch the movies, maybe even make money.

It’s just some people belong here, and others don’t.

I can pretend to belong here better than Trayvon was ever given the chance to. The white racist looks at me and sees a stolen job or the slow decline of national prominence, but he doesn’t see a rapist, a thug, a barbarian at the gate. I fear being snubbed and sometimes spat on but rarely shot. And that is a very important difference.

But it is still not my country. However hard I try, however well they treat me, however much we all smile at each other and however much people praise the “model minority” I am, I know it is not.

Read the whole thing.

And if you’re still resisting the idea that racism is alive and well in this country, look no further than Harry Reid, not only a United States fucking Senator, but the god damned Senate Majority Leader, who apologized about making a joke about how an Anglicized Chinese name sounds to an English-only speaker.

Reid said he was having a problem “keeping my Wongs straight” after introducing someone at the luncheon.

I’ll close with a long essay about the class origins of racial politics:

So, who are they really, these hundred thousand white supremacists? They’re every white guy who believed that this land was his land, was made for you and me. They’re every down-on-his-luck guy who just wanted to live a decent life but got stepped on, every character in a Bruce Springsteen or Merle Haggard song, every cop, soldier, auto mechanic, steelworker, and construction worker in America’s small towns who can’t make ends meet and wonders why everyone else is getting a break except him. But instead of becoming Tom Joad, a left-leaning populist, they take a hard right turn, ultimately supporting the very people who have dispossessed them.

They’re America’s Everymen, whose pain at downward mobility and whose anger at what they see as an indifferent government have become twisted by a hate that tells them they are better than others, disfigured by a resentment so deep that there are no more bridges to be built, no more ladders of upward mobility to be climbed, a howl of pain mangled into the scream of a warrior. Their rage is as sad as it is frightening, as impotent as it is shrill.

I’m Asian and I’m pissed.