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By Renier D.

Filipino culture is a melting pot of Spanish and American history with other Asian tradition mixed in. As a Filipino, I'm proud of rich heritage, but at times I still struggle with where I fit in and I know I'm not the only one. I grew up in the capital of the Philippines called Manila. I was born and raised there up until I was about 17 years old and then I came here to immigrate. When I first got here they hand over me a form and there's a section that made me check off a checkbox asking if am I Asian or am I Pacific Islander I said: "I'm a Filipino I don't know where I fit in in this".

In Filipino-American culture, sometimes we end up assimilating a lot. like American accent which is making the accent even more worst, refusing to eat the native food or even not speaking our own language in public and I see it a lot in people that I have met in the past. These are the thing that wasn't exactly accepted well by people because people would often comment like "Ooh what are you eating" or "where are you from?" and people aren't aware what would a person feel when they've been asked with these questions.

African-American has fought their right in society,  people are aware of it and respected that. No one would use the "N' word or humiliate an African-American decent in public. Advertising, Movies, The media as a whole is also aware of this and they are very careful of what to say or show in the public now. As far as history goes Filipino-Americans has been getting the same treatment as other minorities in the United States. Zoot Suit Riot, Filipino-Americans is also one of the attack targets against minorities, similar to Latino, African-American, Native American experiences so why Filipino-Americans still forgot and invisible.

Racial prejudice, it does still happen to Filipino Americans even today. I think it's really important to think about the ways in which race and racism change over time. often times people will say "No one's burning down your house, no one's doing this and everything must be okay.." that is one way to look at it but the manifestation of racism changed over time so if we look back in time we can see really painful experiences specifically, anti-bully racism. In the early 1930s during the great depression, Filipino farm workers were run out of town, in all parts of California like Watsonville. They were beaten, they were subject of all sort of racism that had to do with labor competition, romantic competition because white farmers did not like Filipino farmers dancing with white women... and If we look at that and we think of all the ways in which Filipino as seen as others as racially different, as savage those things may not have seen today. But, it's very important to know for our society to realize that there are other racial minorities still experiencing racial prejudice and discrimination and hopefully we can start to respect each other as a society.

There are hate crimes that occur all the time in all sort of locals, just because you didn't experience racism doesn't mean all other Filipinos don't. Study of Dr. Alvarez found that 98% of all Filipino Americans in the United States somehow experienced racial discrimination at least once. We can also think about something called racial microaggression, again racism doesn't mean you're getting the deck in the face all the time or killed. There are little things for example when I first attended Santa Barbara City College someone came up to me and asked me if I speak English... so, I know that a lot of Filipino Americans are still experiencing this in a day to day basis.

 

References

Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (2017). Anti-Filipino sentiment

    Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anti-Filipino_sentiment

Nadal K, (2017). Author of #DearFilipinoAmericans. Dear Filipino Americans, Let’s Talk About Charlottesville.

    Retrieved from https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/dearfilipinoamericans-lets-talk-about-charlottesville_us_599723d9e4b03b5e472cef1c

Guillermo E, (2017). In a Trumpulent America, Filipinos and white supremacy

    Retrieved from http://usa.inquirer.net/6032/trumpulent-america-filipinos-white-supremacy