Ce N'est Pas Un Title

25 April 2001

I know I've ranted about articles in the newspaper before, but this one isn't even going to be a rant. The facts of it are quite enough. Twenty-three percent of Americans are uncomfortable voting for a Chinese-American for president. Keep in mind that this has to be someone born in America to be eligible for the presidency in the first place. Almost a quarter of the American populace will say right out that they'd be uncomfortable with that. No subtle biases accounted for here -- it was a direct question in a survey, "Would you be comfortable voting for a Chinese-American for president?" And people said, "No." See what I mean? I don't need to rant about this, because it speaks for itself. And what it says is, "Vicious ignorant bigots." (Okay, so maybe little tiny bits of ranting will show up. Just a little.)

The percentage of people who are uncomfortable with other groups as president are "blacks," 15%; women 14%; and Jewish people 11%. Each group was presented separately, so it wasn't a situation of, "Would you rather have a Jew or a broad for president?" I think the number is too high for people who wouldn't have a Jewish person for president. But for Chinese-Americans, I don't even need to say how ridiculous that is. I'm also wondering what the number would be for other East Asian Americans, or for the Americans whose ancestors came from India and nearby countries. Is the problem exacerbated by the PRC, or would it be pretty much the same regardless of country of origin on that whole continent?

And then, thirty-two percent of the people surveyed thought that Chinese-Americans were more loyal to the PRC than to America. That's a third, within survey error of 3.1 percent. A third of the U.S. citizens surveyed evidently have not talked to a single Chinese American. Because, gosh. You get more loyalty to England from your average forty-millionth generation English American than loyalty to China from any Chinese American I've ever met. Why on earth are people assuming this? It can't possibly be left over from the Gold Rush days when Chinese men wanted nothing more than to be able to send money home. People's memories aren't that long, are they?

People talked about Yellow Peril attitudes when the spy plane thing hit the news, but I guess there was a part of me that assumed that it was related to "furriners." It reminds me of the Margaret Cho bit where she's talking about the talk show host who obviously doesn't understand the concept of Korean Americans and asks her to tell their viewers in her native language that they're switching to a network affiliate. So she says, "Um, they're switching to a network affiliate."

People stink.

But speaking of the people who don't stink:

Mary Anne hasn't posted in a couple of days, which drove home for me a possibly nice feature of the online journal: if you regularly update, and then drop out of existence for several days without warning, people will notice. This was something that disturbed me a few times in my college career: I'd get sick, and everybody would assume I was busy with something else, and nobody would check up on me. When I get sick, I often get really sick, will-you-help-me-to-the-bathroom sick, I'm-about-to-pass-out-on-the-floor sick. So it's nice to have someone at least know about it. It's not a problem once you're married, but it's still nice to know that someone will notice major interruptions in your (recorded) life, and care, and hope you're all right.

Ooh, ooh, and Liz started a journal! In part because she read Morphism, so I'm feeling warm and fuzzy about that. Liz is so cool. I am so cool, too, 'cause I helped spawn this thing. (Now tell the editors who have my stuff about how cool I am.) Liz and I have been exchanging long, ranty letters for coming up on nine years now. We don't know everything about each other's lives, but...well. There's been a lot of stuff. So I can vouch for her ability to tell good stories about her life and talk about interesting ideas. I find her new hobby fascinating, from a continent's distance (pretty fires....), but amazingly, we've been able to keep coming up with new interesting things to tell each other for the last nine years. And if all else fails, her dog stories are awesome. I think you should all send her harassing e-mail until she posts pictures of Mama (the dog) and tells the many funny Mama stories. But if she seems insufficiently harassed, I guess I can pick up the slack.

Okay. I think I'm done for now. I'm going to try to get a little more novel done, a little more short story, a little more article, a little more synopsis, and by the way a little more housecleaning, a little more laundry.

Sometimes I wonder why I picked a journal format that requires me to give every day a title. I hate titles. It's probably good for me to have to come up with them, but sometimes I don't want to do things that are good for me.

Back to Morphism.

And the main page.

Or the last entry.

Or the next one.

Or even send me email.