Experienced Racism Since I Was a Baby

I am half White, half East Asian. I don't feel great about sharing such negative experiences, but perhaps it helps others who are still victims of racism. Maybe it gives them hope that there is light at the end of the tunnel and you can survive. You can get through this and become a far stronger person in the end.

I have read a few of the stories here. Some make me realise how lucky I am not to have suffered any worse than what I have. Others I don't think are really about racism, but more about ignorance. These people are lucky not to have experienced real racism (actual hatred towards them and not just a few jokes in bad taste). Even so, I do not think anyone should be made to feel as if they are less because of the colour they were born with.

My story is a long one and I am not sure I will remember all of the individual experiences I have had of racism, but I will try my best.

I was born in the United Kingdom. At the time I was born, my parents were living close to a neighbour who had been in WWII. He thought my father was Japanese and, as a result, he was always trying to cause trouble for us. Saying we were dumping all our rubbish onto the grounds and ruining it for everybody in an effort to make us homeless. When my mother would return from the supermarket and had to leave me at the bottom of the stairs while putting the bags into the flat, the man would rush out and try to make me cry: screaming at me and shaking my pram.

In primary school I also suffered many insults about how I looked. People commenting on the shape of my eyes, the colour of my skin, calling me 'chink' and asking me when I would go back to my own country even though I was born in Britain and am half British!

Most of the racism I remember was from when I was in secondary school. We would have gangs of kids come to our house with brooms and baseball bats, swearing at my father and asking when he would '**** off back to China.' Some of the parents tried to get the police saying my father had abused their children by chasing them away from his house.

We had people try to throw bricks through our windows and toss eggs at our house.

There were only a few East Asian children at my school apart from my brother and I. Several of them had their names mocked and I even had a teacher join in with making fun of my surname. I consider this to be more about ignorance rather than racism. They don't know enough about other races and cultures to respect the differences. They only see the foreign names from their own narrow-minded perspectives.

I have had men treat me like an exotic prize because of my race. One actually came up to me when I was with my friends and said, 'Hey, hot Asians! Want to take a ride in my car? Ching, chong, ching, China man!' As if that last part was going to convince us he was a hot stud... Some have wanted to take pictures of me only because they discovered I was half East Asian and it's supposedly so 'sexy' and 'unique'. I have no idea if any other experiences are related to my race, but many British men have assumed it is perfectly fine to walk up and grab me. It could be because of the common myth that East Asians are submissive, but it could just be that they were rude.

There are a number of other things I have been through that I couldn't definitely pin down as racism, but I suspect they were because the only reason for these people attacking me would have been due to my appearance.

One of these was randomly having stones thrown at me and my brother. This happened to us several times. Sometimes in school and sometimes when walking home from school.

Another was a series of incidents that happened on the school bus. We were the only East Asian kids on the school bus. All the others were a mixture of white and black. Everyone on that bus had fun picking on my brother and I. No one else on that bus was ever bullied, only the two of us. Whether it was shoving us, hitting us with objects, insulting us, pouring things on us, stealing our lunches, pulling our hair out... I admit that we were often rather happy to miss the school bus because we hated having to ride it.

I have been physically attacked by a complete stranger before. I think I almost passed out as everything was black for a few moments and I was dizzy. Maybe I almost fell onto the floor, but I don't remember. My vision returned as the attacker laughed and exclaimed how he had got me right in the head. His friends joined in laughing. By this point I had given up on trying to retaliate against bullies and racism (I had tried everything) and I turned away and carried on walking as if nothing had happened. Racism/bullying had become something I lived with. It was something I had to take in my stride. If there is no way of stopping it, one has no option but to deal with it.

In Canada I did not experience any racism, but I did get some disapproving looks from Chinese men who saw that I was in a relationship with a white man.

In France I have not experienced any racism so far and I hope I never do.

Today I still come across people who are a bit ignorant, but I try not to connect those who are ignorant with the blatant racists. For example, my mother-in-law and a friend of mine seriously believe all Chinese sounds like 'ching, chong, ching'. They say that right in front of me. It is rather sad because both of them have been to China and must have heard that neither Cantonese nor Mandarin sounds like that. However, they do not hate me, they welcome me into their homes and treat me as an equal human being. They never say anything hateful about my appearance or Chinese people in general, which is why I do not consider them or their comments racist. Just a bit ignorant.

There is one thing I hate more than racism... and those are minorities that use racism to cry wolf. I was friends with a half black, half white girl. She was lovely. Her siblings and relatives hated me and my brother for no other reason I can think of apart from our race. Her family bullied me and my brother (they never did such a thing to anyone else) and when we called out for help, they would say that we had said something racist to them! It truly is disgusting and sad when someone from a minority lies about racism to commit racism themselves.

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3 Responses Mar 16, 2009

This is a problem worldwide, there is now no more racism among black people, as they have accepted the WHITE culture but us Asians are ill treated everywhere! Just because they do not have a rich culture does not give them the right to mock people. Its cruel really. We can also become like them but we chose not to. That is what distinguishes us from them. Asians are never welcomed the way we welcome them in our country. Those racists got a white skin but a BLACK heart!<br />
God Bless You

our hearts are black because we accept black people. Jeez youre so ignorant. Probably a dumb spick.....

This is truly shocking. I live in Britain too and have only experienced a few low grade incidents of racism, the last time being years and years ago. I hope this isn't still going on for you. <BR>"I did get some disapproving looks from Chinese men who saw that I was in a relationship with a white man." - Although this is probably the least serious of all the incidents, I find it very strange that relationships with someone from a different race should be such an issue still. I didn't know people still think about it.<BR><BR>I'm glad that you got through it all and that you are a stronger person for it now *hugs*<BR><BR>I wonder why there is still racism in the world. It emerged so long ago and has caused so many prblems throughout the years that you would have thought everyone would have learnt to accept people as they are by now.

You have to overlook the stupidity of some people. I am a white male. But where I was raised there were about 65 blacks to 1 white kid. I had been in many fights with mostly black kids because I didn't like there name calling and stuff. It finally came a day 3 guys started in on me and me not fearing anything decided that I would not back down. Those 3 guys beat the hell out of me. Mostly because I was white. I don't and didn't hold it against all the blacks in my school. But I can see how some people would. It is not an excuse just fact. I think most people can't be true friends to someone of a different race. Maybe one day it will happen. I don't think I will see it. I am sorry for what you have been through.

maybe when you were growing up, people of different races couldnt be friends, but now it is more than possible, it happens all the time. i'm sorry you were beat up for being white that is not right, but my best friend in the whole world is jamaican and when i tell you i love that person with my whole heart and soul, i mean every word of it.