Reading this blog, you are only seeing me as I am now. Your not seeing my whole life journey. And thats why its easy to form misconceptions about me and my parents and turn me into a caricature. In fact what brought me here is a rich and quintessentially American story. While the Hapa-American experience for me has been one of profound and involuntary, alienation and foreignness from the American experience, a right I once thought I was entitled to by way of my dad’s DNA, it is also something right out of Moby Dick, Huck Finn, Catcher in the Rye, the Great Gatsby. Always longing for the unobtainable Great White Whale on the other side. The hopeless doomed quest. And of course race is itself at the heart of America. Only in America do we really have this sense of “whiteness” outside of ethnicity. And lets face it, however much we love America, we built it the same way Hitler wanted to build his New Order in Europe. Only difference is we killed Indians instead of Jews to make room for living space, and we used Black slaves instead of Slavs. Whatever good may come out of America, that is our Original Sin that haunts this nation of Pilgrims to this day.
So yes the first half of my story, is just the attempt to be American. And in that way I actually understand where the sell-out Asian females are coming from. I showed off my white dad, the same way they show off their white boyfriends. The fact that my DNA was 50% white, seemed proof to me that I was just as American as I was Asian. How could I be considered foreign, when I was born here, had no contact with the Orient, and had a dad who’s ancestors probably went back further than many white people’s? Of course this should not privilege the Hapa position over the pure Asian. While I have the biological factor for what its worth, Wesley Yang’s article showed me that many full Asians have the same feeling of being a white dude in an Asian guy’s body. I got called a Banana by one Asian dude in high school. I remember during my 1st day of college. This Asian guy approached me and said you don’t look full asian. Let me guess its your mom who’s asian, you never see it the other way around.
I guess what made it tragic for me. Was that it in my younger days, I had brown hair and rounder eyes. And so random people would approach and ask what I was. Not looking full Asian was a sort of security. Even now there are some people who are surprised that I’m Asian. On the other hand there have been plenty of full Asians who have assumed I’m just another American Asian. If a full Asian thinks your Asian, then your Asian. And so I tried to out-white whitey and out-America America by being a superpatriot.
I guess what really brought home for me who I was, was seeing It all started with April Wilkner from America’s Next Top Model. Now you might think that April would be the kind of sell out whore I hate. Indeed there is a lot of hate about her on forums, about her being ashamed of her Asian identity. Janice Dickinson called her out to her face about her shame. That probably is how I would look at it now actually. But at the time, it was my Eurasian identity that defined me. And I really could relate to Apri. She would show off her curly haired nerdy white dad and brag he looked like Art Garfunkel. Janice tried to push April to be the Asian one. And April felt she shouldn’t have to be typecast. Like me at the time, she felt that her white dad, made her just as white, just as AMERICAN and unforeign as she was Japanese. And so at the time I didn’t see it as self-hate. I saw it as reality. Me and April are both just as white as we are Asian, so why are we less American? Why do we get told to go back to Asia, when our blood runs to Europe equally? Why the 1-drop rule? Of course there is a measure of egalitarianism to the 1-drop rule, in the sense that here in America we don’t have the rigid racial feudal pyramid of Latin America, where every last drop of precious rare white blood counts. Here its all or nothing.
And so April was a turning point. While initally I tried to embrace my Hapa identity. I realized I had nothing in common with Hapas. That the world was always going to treat me as Asian and thats just what I was. And as much as I hated to admit it, Janice Dickinson was right. And so I became a big Asian nationalist. I took out my anger on the white man, while seeing Asian women as innocent victims. I said my dad was like a white slave owner raping his slaves. It is only fairly recently, when armed with sociobiology and evolutionary psychology, that I realize that women do the sexual selection, and women are to blame. This actually has a personal impact to. I’ve never done detailed interviews about my parent’s past dating history. But as far as I can tell, my dad dated plenty of white and latina girls before mom. And I’m not sure if he even dated ANY Asian girls before her. Mom on the other hand, I know less about, but I have the sneaking suspicion she dated only white men in America. And an abnormally high percentage of her friends and family seem to end up with white men
Now some commentors here in order to make themselves feel better, tell me that my WM/AF is uniquely bad, and that their one of the “good” ones. I tried to comfort myself about my parents in the same way. After all, they met right here in America, through a mutual white friend. And my dad is less than 5 years older than her. So so much for assuming that my parents are a special case. The fact is, as much as I bash my parents, I have far more respect for their relationship than the majority of 2011 WM/AF couples. If you ask me the trend through the 1990s and 2000s and into the 2010s is for WM/AFs to get more and more disreputable. Only the war brides/rapes of Japan, Korea, Nam compare.
So yeah it may seem like I identify totally as an Asian male. And I often refer to myself simply as an Asian male, cuz thats what society sees me as. But I spent much of my life, desperately trying to be considered full white, and failing that at least trumpeted and advertised my Hapaness. Its possible that all biracial kids living in a racist society are going to have identity problems. But I think the huge influx of WM/AFs, the scarcicty of AM/WFs, and perhaps most importantly the reasons justifying WM/AF, make life incredibly difficult for the Hapa sons of WM/AF.