I had no idea what the controversy was about Don Imus. I'm not a big fan so I didn't pay much attention to it. I really should have. He said some very hateful, hurtful things. One of my favorite liberal bloggers wrote a good post about it. It brought to mind my past history and brushes with racism.
I was 3 years old when my parents immigrated to this country. My only recollection is of the hot airport (don't know which one it was). I don't remember any of the difficulties of settling in in a new country with a new language to learn. I don't know if my father or mother ever experienced any sort of racism, but I'm sure they had. We were living in the Los Angeles area at the time and although it has a huge Korean population now, it wasn't so at the time.
I've faced racism. As a child, I've had other children call me the derogatory name of "chink". I've had kids pull at the outer corners of their eyes as they called me this name to make their eyes into slits as they believed we Asians all had eyes like that. It left such an indelible impression on me. It hurt. A lot. It still hurts me to think of it. In 4th grade, some girls threatened to beat me up for being different (Korean) and for being what they considered a teacher's pet. I had to change buses and walk home from a different neighborhood.
There were days I wished I were blond and blue eyed. They (blonds) never got picked on like that. I'm thankful now that my children don't look very Asian. I hate to feel that way, but I know they won't experience the hurt that I've felt just for the way I look.
I want to say that racism doesn't exist anymore, but it does. Don Imus has proven it and my experiences have too. I've had restaurant managers veer away from my table when they make the rounds. If ours was not the only table he skipped, I wouldn't have felt it was racism. My husband knew right off what it was and he's not sensitive to that sort of feeling.
I don't know if I'm making much sense. This particular topic has been on my mind lately. I pray that people will learn to have respect for others.