Asians Who Hate Other AsiansI'm Japanese American and my girlfriend in high school was Vietnamese American. Luckily my parents were pretty much fine with whomever I dated. But my girlfriend's parents hated my guts right off the bat. When we first started dating, she would make me park my car around the block so her parents wouldn't be able to see me. After a few months of this, she let me pick her up at the door and her parents were literally eyeballing me from behind her. She didn't tell them that my ancestry was Japanese because she said that would really **** them off, but I guess they could tell that I wasn't Vietnamese from my facial features and mannerisms.
It really frustrated me because I felt like they weren't even willing to give me a chance. As far as boyfriends go, I kind of thought that I was pretty "parent friendly". I was a straight A student and had recently been accepted into UC Berkeley for engineering. I was in pretty decent shape, dressed pretty conservatively for high school and was extra polite around adults. I even started learning Vietnamese because I thought it might impress her parents. But I was never able to get past the front door with them. Eventually, I went off to college (she was a year behind me) and we ended up breaking it off.
I guess I never really understood families like that. I mean, here they are living in the United States, the melting pot of the world. They come all the way over here from Vietnam, and they insist that their daughter dates only other Vietnamese? Maybe it was the fact that I was Japanese that they didn't like? Maybe they would have been ok with a Chinese, Thai, Korean or some other Asian background that didn't invade their country during WWII or something.
Anyway, that was a really disappointing experience for me. I grew up in the United States believing that we are all Americans. It wasn't until non-Asians started pointing that I was different from them, that I even noticed there was anything "different" about me. Eventually, I was able to put that behind me. But then having to put up with prejudice from people who are essentially members of the same race just seemed ridiculous to me. I guess I shouldn't have been surprised. There are probably still some people who don't like people unless their ancestors came from the same small village in Bulgaria or something.