Susan Alexander
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Susan Alexander

Rant Archive:

Week of August 2nd

Human Race

There is one word so powerful that it instigates arguments almost each time the word is mentioned......RACE. The two general meanings for race when being used as a noun would mean either 'descendants of common ancestors' or 'a competition'. Now 'race' is more acceptable as a term for people to place each other in stereotypical categories.

When I moved to San Francisco with my New York City attitude of saying exactly how I felt, some of my new friends were taken aback by the fact that I always noticed someone's ethnic background. Ironically, living in a small town, my ethnic background was really never an issue or brought up until I lived in larger areas like Washington, DC and NYC. I think it is human nature to be able to put someone in a category. Whenever I filled out questionnaires that had your ethnic background, I always checked three boxes: Asian, Native American and the generic 'white'. Depending on what I was applying for, I hoped that one of my ethnic groups would give me the grant or student loan I was applying for at the time.

My racial background is a mixture of Korean (always first and dominant, since my mother gives me the best material), Greek and Native American. I am what you would call 'Heinz 57', a little bit of everything. I have a revolution going on in my head everyday. The Korean and Greek are fighting weather I should open up a corner deli or buy some goats and have sex with the goats. Then there is the Native American side that just wants to drink the white man's fire water and sell everything I own to the white man for 26 beads. Thank God, the Korean steps in and raises the price to 100 beads.

During my mom's visit to San Francisco in July, my mom looks at me for a very long time and says, 'Sometimes, I can't believe you Oriental - you too big to be Oriental girl - You take after your father's side (generic 'white' to my mom). All women on your father side are loud with big chest like you. Mommy, only hope you always think like Oriental girl.'

**Side note: I have explained many times to my mother that a 'rug' is Oriental and 'people' are Asian. She is over 60 years old and she will say what she wants. One of the many reasons I love my mom!**

The world is so politically correct in any office or corporation if you utter any word of noticing someone's ethnic background you are sent directly to human resources for'diversity training'. The main reason comedy is my true love, is the ability we have to communicate our thoughts about controversial topics and people can either chose to pay to see you or not. Sometimes my friend's call me the 'female' Archie Bunker since I say such direct statements about race and people. I think that being up front about your views is not being racist. The true racist is the person who smiles at you, seems to like everyone but would never allow a person of a different racial background to join their community or groups. 

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