So if you have been following my social posts today you will know where my mind has been focused lately. I thought about going live like I did last year during the peaking of the virus in New York but I decided to write down my thoughts instead.
So here goes a follow-up to my “F racism” post and sharing Senator Menendez’s speech (check them out if you haven’t yet) I realize that with almost 5k “friends ” on Facebook not everyone “knows ” me so let me introduce myself…
I was born in 1961 on the Island of Jamaica to a black (African descent with a trace of European) father and a mother who was full Chinese, 2nd generation Jamaica-born. My father migrated to the UK and eventually France when I was a baby and since they weren’t married my mother stayed in Jamaica and I was raised by my Chinese family. Jamaicans will relate to the fact that I am a child of a “Chiney shop” Infant school, Corinaldi Ave. Primary and Cornwall College. I kept my Father’s last name “Brown” until I was 30 when I officially took my Mom’s name “Lue” before I got married out of respect for my Mom and the family that raised me. Funny enough, even though my legal name growing up in Montego Bay was “Richard Brown” everyone still called me “Dickie Lue” That said, I am very happy with the current relationship that I have with my father, French brother & sisters, and one English sister. I am the only child for my Mom. I have two children with my first wife who is a white Italian-born American citizen and one child with my current wife who is a Miami-born Cuban. I shared all of this so you understand the perspective of what I am about to write next.
I grew up in a Jamaica where I was called “chiney bwoy” and now “chiney man” or “missa chin” “cock eyed” My family ran a “chiney shop” and you know the jokes that were made about “what kind of meat was in those patties?” My family operated some of those patty shops. Oh, not to mention “chiney nyam daag ” That was my life growing up as a “black chiney” or “chiney royal” in Jamaica. I don’t remember taking it personal, it was just “life”, every now and then if I got offended I might shoot back with a few “ol niega” of my own. All of that was balanced by an abundance of love from my family and close friends. Jamaica is an equal opportunity “social offender” in the most literal sense. White people are described as red, “red bwoy or red gal”.
People of East Indian descent are unapologetically called “coolie” or “babu” and we all know the term “dundus” It’s not just race, all Jamaicans know at least one “fatman” or “bigga” and let us not talk about politics, religion or sexuality, but I think you get the point. However, generally, we all seem to get along. Even though blatant racism has always existed in Jamaica we all tend to buy into our national motto “out of many one people” and tolerate each other’s differences, good bad and indifferent all with a happy go lucky, “no problem ” “soon come” attitude. We are “Jamaican” first. Maybe it’s because so many of us live on this small island and a large percentage won’t have the privilege of living anywhere else.
So fast forward to the last 15 months. I have lived in the USA since 1987 and I am now a US citizen (all legally by the way). However, I still have one leg in Jamaica. I have lived in Los Angeles, South Florida and now this is my second stint in New York City. (It is worth noting that I lived in L.A. during the Rodney King riots, and oh yeah people thought that I was a Pacific Islander).
During the summer I found myself standing up for my “blackness” having to remind this society that “black lives do matter” and to face the fact that some of my white friends of many years did not agree or simply could not bring themselves to accept the fact that “systemic racism” is a problem in their version of what is America.
And now I must support and defend my “Asian roots” against the same scourge of racism which some sectors of this “United States Of America ” would like to convince us is all in our mind.
– A white man attacks three Asian-owned businesses, kills 8 people (six Asian) and you refuse to call it racially motivated because he said it wasn’t! THAT IS RACIST IN ITSELF, I CALL BS!
– You who give credence to his “sexual frustration” argument. THAT IN ITSELF IS RACIST. YOU ARE JUSTIFYING THE “ASIAN SEX WORKER” STEREOTYPE. THINK ABOUT THAT THE NEXT TIME YOU LAUGH AT THE PHRASE “HAPPY ENDING ” WHEN REFERRING TO AN ASIAN RUN SPA OR MASSAGE PARLOR, I CALL BS!
So saying all that, I find myself in a predicament. Because of the color of my skin the chance of me becoming a victim of the crime spree against Asians is very low,(unless they look at my eyes) but what about my kids, (they are light-skinned and look Chinese), my Chinese family, Aunts, Uncles, Cousins, my Asian friends?
But wait, I am not in the clear, because of the color of my skin there is a greater than average chance that I might be a victim of abuse if I encounter the police.
Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to my United States of America Peace and Love