So some guy in NYC was told to go back to China.....

As a lot of you know, a letter from a Chinese American was published in the NY Times this past week.   It was a letter from a pissed off Chinese about how another person told him to leave the country.  “Get the fuck out” basically.

And that bothered him.  As it should have.  Because he is American and as American as you and me and anyone else here.  

But as a middle aged man who has seen the NY Times publish something similar to this a generation ago, back in the 80’s, can I offer another view?

Because the NYT probably isn’t going to.

I want to be polite to this Chinese-American who got his feelings hurt.  I want to be sensitive.

And I do not want to be apologetic to a white person(of all people!) for their comments.  But at the end of the day I just don’t think this guy is gonna get any sympathy outside of NYC, or Diamond Bar or say even San Francisco.

After all, the reason you live in NYC is pretty simple right?  There are Chinese restaurants, Chinese food, newspapers, etc.  You can even take your driver’s test in Chinese! 

Point is, the reason you are there…the only reason, is you don’t have to assimilate.  Simple as that.  It makes life so easy for you.  You pushed The Lazy Button on life.  You probably made a subconscious choice not to leave NY because, well because life otherwise would just be “too hard”.   And well, lots of folks(lots and lots!) don’t like that.   We non Asian people see nothing but hordes of Chinese people coming to America, and not even trying to learn English, much less have American friends.    

As such, if I’m Chinese without the pressure of “fitting in”, how is this not the greatest country in the world? 

Now….I need to ask a few things:  when your parents were here did they get a knock on the door asking for their residency permit?  

Were they curious about whether you were living with a Chinese Girl?

I got that knock on the door in China, and some of my friends got that question, too.

Did the friends visiting you in University have to sign their life away just to have the right to come and say hi? You know their address, their ID #, etc…?

Mine did. 

Were you forced to pay double the price of admission to public parks, amusement parks, etc simply because of your race?

I was.

Have you been spit on because of your race?

I have.

When you checked into a hotel with your wife did they ask for your marriage certificate?

They asked me….and you know what?  I had it with me!

The reason, the common theme behind all these questions is simple enough;  the only reason I was asked these things is because I “stood out”.  I was a foreigner in Chinese Society.

You undoubtedly didn’t visit The Motherland very often as a child or young man, did you?

So while you are right to be pissed off, I’d say you’ve got it easy.  I’d even say it would be easier if you didn’t choose to live in NYC.   Why don’t you just admit the reason you don’t live in Kentucky or Kansas or South Dakota or anywhere else is because life would “be hard”.

But at least the local population wouldn’t call you out.  They’d accept you as just another Asian.

Why is that?  Counter intuitive don’t you think?

It would be because there is no “gaggle” of Asians in Kentucky, or Kansas, or wherever else I wrote above.

But when a Non-Asian sees a “Gaggle” of Asians what does he right or wrong think?

“Taking my job”….nonsense I know.

“Making no effort to fit in”….yep.

“Buying everything in sight”….sure.

“Probably can’t even speak English”….of course.

So obviously the resentment builds.   Now.  Does she herself have any Chinese friends?  I hope not.   

Because if she did, and still acted that way…well that would make her a pretty bad person, now wouldn’t it?

I guess I’m challenging one of the most cherished myths here;  that big cities are more tolerant and forgiving of minorities than smaller cities.  

Not exactly.

It’s ironic that the most liberal, open minded city “In the World” is actually nothing if not a city filled with what are basically invisible “walled compounds” of minorities that despise one another, and go out of their way to avoid assimilating. 

Because they don’t have, too!!

Orthodox Jews discourage marriage to Gentiles.

Muslims discourage marriage to Christians.

Chinese parents discourage marriage to non-Chinese.

Your city as such is full of interesting, but madly racist people.   I wonder what your parents would’ve thought if you had brought home a White Girlfriend.  Did you?  We can tell from your article that your wife is probably Asian. 

What do Non-Asians see?

What I see is big picture.  Very, very big picture. 

You won the lottery by living here, just like I did.  So basically shut the fuck up and accept the price of the occasional taunt pointed your way as not just the price of living in a large racially tense city, but living in America itself.  It is a fair price to pay.   

One should not accept racial intolerance you say? I agree. I cannot and do not understand when someone drives past a black person and just casually calls out ”Nigger!”

But racial intolerance in a big city is normal, and ain’t going to go away anytime soon.  

What amuses me is your wish to want to make a big deal out of some white bitch having a bad day.
What happened to you happens in Sydney, London, and Paris, too.

Get over it!

You call me out for being an insensitive White Guy?  Ok.  Fair enough.  Scroll back up above.  From my very narrow and selfish viewpoint, I think I’ve earned the right to call out others who cry about racial grievances.  

If I’m on a train in China and a cop suddenly wants to see my passport what can I do?  Give it to him, of course!  Which is what I did!  Would he have asked me if I was Chinese?  Nope.

I’ve often stated(oh 739 times?) that America is a country forever on the road in search of That Perfect Society.  Where all Peoples get along and sing kumbaya, when not making love to each other.  CNN and others even get “outraged” when this narrative alas gets shattered by violence, or maybe just a simple insult like “get the fuck out of here”.

Aside from simply ignoring human nature, this narrative is oh so bullshit.

I realized as such one day when I walked into the University Cafeteria as a 19 year old and realized every single ethnic group was sitting amongst themselves.   Vietnamese with Vietnamese, Black with Blacks, Dumb White Blonde Sorority Sisters with each other….you get the picture.

So what am I trying to say?  When I was a 20 something dude I was all about “saving the world”.  Now as a middle aged guy with kids, a damn mortgage(still) and a Honda in the garage, I’m more about just trying to survive it. 

My unwanted advice to minorities in this situation?  When living in a big city such as NYC,   getting screamed at, cussed at, whatever….it’s par for the course in America.   As you are an American I’m surprised a bit you haven’t caught on yet.

I don’t want to hear about how someone called you a chink when you were seven.  Or nine.  I don’t care.   Stop trying to pretend as if America is a place where everybody is treated equal and we all get along, because we don’t.   So stop with the false umbrage.   And grow a thick skin.  


  1. Great post Triple F - my thoughts exactly. I wrote a post on the same theme but with a different spin:

  2. So you have a blog?
    Well let me get on over and check it out...!
    It's hard to find other like minded bloggers on China, I'm least those not constrained by being on salary for somebody else.

  3. Thats why Im gonna find myself a white girl with golden hair and emerald blue eyes to race-mix with(as asian guy) to beat racism. A personal sacrifice to make the world a better place.

  4. Taking one for the Team!!!
    Unfortunately for myself, my family is full of bleach you won't have any competition from me!

  5. I just discovered this site hmmm maybe I shouldn't race mix? though they do say AMWF pairings are more stable.
    do you have any self-hating children by any chance?

  6. Self hating? Not at all. I teach my children the importance of self confidence. I find the role of the father is very important, otherwise the tiger mom will just beat the child down, emotionally and verbally. I've stated many times before what we see as a "humble" self deprecating Asian in Western Society is quite often the product of a person with little if any self esteem, the better for Tigermom to control and mold as she see's fit.

    This is quite often the "real" source of friction between the two cultures in a marriage. It is the role of the father to emphasize EQ as often as possible.


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