Black History Month as an Asian

Push out the jive, bring in the love!!

Push out the jive, bring in the love!!

Black History Month as an Asian
By: Grandpa Dinosaur

You know, a lot of people ask me why I like Black History Month. I am CLEARLY not Black. I’m 100% Asian, 100% Cambodian. I’m not mixed or date people based on or against race. It’s Black History Month, the coldest month of the year. The one month of the year to learn Black History, in January I am already turning in my chair, asking my neighbour knows it’s Black History month. My fast life is slowing down, I’m starting to sit down a finally pick up that book (once I find out where my mother has put it) “Black Like Me.” (Yeah I know, I promise I’ll read a book written by a Black person too!)

Davita, who has been updating often as she can, asked me to do a post on Black History month and I pondered on what to write as an Asian person celebrating Black History Month.

I do talk and bring up Black History Month with others and yes, I am Asian so of course a lot of Asian people ask me why I bring up Black History Month. When I ask them “Why Not?” They often respond: “You’re not Black.”

“Not being Christian has not stopped me from celebrating Christmas, not being White has not stopped you from buying me a Christmas present.” And their faces slowly turn pale and their bodies rescind from mine. “Not being White hasn’t stopped you from buying your loved one a Valentine’s Day gift.”

And then I ask the big question, “Is it because I’m Asian. Or is it because they’re Black?”

Because you know that’s why.

And then I don’t get talked to for months because no one likes to be publicly ousted for being racist… even by their peers. I can count on my hands how many people who just stop talking to me when I oust them for being racist or just ignoring racism, because they’d rather be friends with people who don’t point out their racism than do. And it’s sad, pathetic and ignorant.

People think I get along with other Asian people the way they think I get along with other Coloured people. They live under the misconception that there’s no segregation between the races but it’s not JUST the “Black and White” issue we see on TV. There is very much segregation between the races. I look back on my father who tried to push me to attend Cambodian Events where I was bullied by “true Cambodian people” until I brought my best friend to these events: Davita, a Black person. I talked to an Asian friend of mine over dinner, who stated: “I used to be afraid of Black people until I started talking to them.”

And I know it was hard for her to admit that. And it’s harder to admit that to a person like me.

When I think back on all my friends, the things that separated us the most were two things:
1. Guys
2. Denial of the Importance of my race

Because it’s not like being Cambodian is important to me. In fact it’s not. I don’t run around waving a Cambodian flag, I don’t present my name and follow with, “and I’m Cambodian.” It’s not important, but it is. It’s important because I am Cambodian. I feel that it is probably the same for other races too. My experiences are not the same as my White peers, I experience racism where they can’t even recall one incident outside an Asian Supermarket’s clerk glaring at them to get out. I think that’s what really makes me sympathize with other coloured people, we all experience racism. We all do. As coloured people, what separates are that there are those who chose to see racism and act and those who see racism accept, and ignore it.

That’s why I think Black History Month is important and should be important. It’s important to reflect and learn, but be proud. For one month, Black people who get to crack open their “Black People Books” (FINALLY!) for one month of the year and read about themselves and THEIR HISTORY and THEIR ACHIEVEMENTS. And not be ashamed of their Blackness or just learn about their history or just be Black. And you’re like “What??” Hear me out:

I’m tired of the media hating on Blackness. Saying it’s so dangerous, so wild, so over-sexualized. Can’t hang out with BLACK people, they’re too Black! Black is tossed around like it’s some bad word. Black people are treated like a bad race and Black History Month talked about like it’s such a bad thing. WHAT THE FUCK?!

HEY, MAYBE IF WE HAD MORE KNOWLEDGE ABOUT BLACK HISTORY PEOPLE WOULDN’T BE SO IGNORANT AND RACIST!!!

Not that I try to let the White people off for a little while, but the racist White people (not all, you guys who this does no apply to chill!!!) I attended school with who bemoaned there being a Black History Month the most. I hate it when I hear, “Why is there no White History Month?”

White History Month is 12 Months a year, non-stop and runs through Black History Month, which may I also once again add: is the coldest, shortest month of the year in North America. I then proceed to remind said offender how self-centered, selfish and racist they’re being. I know I’M NOT HAPPY learning about (arrogant, galvanizing, colonizing) White History. Guess what, I have to FUCKING LEARN IT!

So I hope that we can all let the Black people have their month where they can learn about their achievements often glossed over and outright neglected in the history books (something I find offensive because I see the History books as the Knowledge Bible; especially for young school children) and learn about their ancestors and not just the time when they were slaves.

Happy Black History Month! GO READ A BOOK WRITTEN BY A BLACK PERSON!

(BTW Asian History Month is in May. ^_^;;)

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~ by l on February 13, 2009.

8 Responses to “Black History Month as an Asian”

  1. Grandpa…this post was so beautiful that I would cry tears of joy if I wasn’t a hot sexy cyborg.

  2. This was an interesting post. I like how he handles people who ask him why he celebrates Black History Month. That’s a very logical response that he uses.

  3. Hi there, Big Man!

    Grandpa Dinosaur is a 23 year old GIRL and also one of my best friends!

    Just thought you should know, LOL.

    *PS: that’s not us in the photo, it’s just a random image.

  4. Right now, I am so impressed by this post. It feels so good and it is very refreshing to have read something like this. I can already see that you are a very open-minded person and that you understand realistic standpoints in life. Everything you posted is very honest. I know you understand because I can feel the frustration and it’s so real. I wish people, especially the bigots, could see it the way you do. One thing I am constantly sick of hearing is “Why can’t White people have a White history month?” and it’s all for the reasons you stated. Thank you for posting this up, it is very enlightening!

  5. I usually write crazy posts on what I feel like, but I try to take time and sit down and write something important on a new subject. Not everything can be fun and games. (As much as I would like it to be.)

    I think the point about “White History month(s)” was important. It’s hard for me to point out the things that White people have and take for granted, like being in the media’s eye without making White people feel uncomfortable. White people ARE comfortable in their positions in society, their status quo, which comes at great sacrifice of other races that although have a huge presence in Ontario/Toronto are still greatly marginalized.

    I still advocate for Black History Month because I feel that there’s a need for Black people to feel empowered instead of displaced in Canada. (I hope that was concise, I just got off an 9 hour shift at work.)

  6. whoah this blog is wonderful i really like reading your posts.
    Stay up the great work! You know, lots of individuals
    are looking around for this info, you could aid them greatly.

  7. Are you dating a black woman?….lol…just kidding…….great article.

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