Guest Contribution - My Experience in Elk Grove with anti-Asian, Chinese hatred

By Marieza Calip | 

One of the happiest days in recent years for me was April 26, 2016. On that day I took my oath as an American citizen.

As a Filipino, becoming an American citizen is a great honor.

Being relatively new to America, I have experienced some forms of what I would call non-malicious misunderstandings. As a Filipina, I am often asked what hospital I work at (no I am not an RN) and how good are my lumpia (my family and friends love them). Overall people may ask questions not out of hatred, but maybe just the lack of knowledge. Also, speaking with a Filipino accent, I don't mind when people ask me where I am from (I am obviously not from a Southern state).

While I have experienced uncomfortable glances in other parts of the country, in Elk Grove I’ve never seen or heard anything that was blatantly racist until today. And interestingly it was not directed at Filipinos or Asians per se, but more toward Chinese.

Today a friend and I, also a Filipina, were enjoying outdoor dining. My friend noticed some young children, who were with their parents, placing litter near us. My friend told the children not to litter but they proceeded in full view of their parents.  

Now maybe you are saying that my friend should have minded her business. Those weren’t her kids so she shouldn’t have said anything you might think. That’s a fair point.

Regardless, what happened next was surprising and hurtful. The parents, both about 20 years younger than us were, in our estimation, were giving us dirty looks. Then the father said, with detectable scorn, “you Chinese.”

They could have told us to mind our own business, which would have been OK. They could have just as easily said “you Filipinos” or “you Hmong” or any other Asian group with the same scorn. If you are upset with us, why do you have to add somebody's race or ethnicity to your statement other than to express hate? 

I feel bad for the Chinese people, and anyone else who is experiencing this sort of anti-Chinese and anti-Asian bigotry that has been happening more and more. We are not Chinese, but as Americans and fellow Asians I stand with anyone who is experiencing this hatred.     

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Steve L said...

This is a sad commentary of what is unfortunately becoming more blatant and even somewhat acceptable in today's norms. Our former president has led this intolerance by example for year. Now it's becoming "normal."
Lack of manners, lack of politeness and respect are also on the rise.

These two women did nothing wrong. These parents are showing their kids it's okay to leave trash after eating publicly instead of being courteous enough to discard it properly. But worst of all, these parents are also teaching their kids bigotry, hate and ignorance. And that's sad for all of us, especially their generation.

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