* I am writing this letter in response to your story about an interracial dating service primarily geared toward matching "American men with Asian women."
This is an entirely erroneous phrase and implies that America is a race and that race is white. May I remind or inform you that American is not a race? I am a third-generation Japanese American, no less American than anyone else in this country.
A few years ago, I taught at a junior college. Each week I went to the copy room. It was divided into copiers specifically for faculty on one side and copiers for clerical help on the other. I used the copiers designated for faculty because I was a faculty member. Each week I was stopped, either by the staff or by other instructors, and was asked to show my ID. After I proved I was an instructor, they often asked "Oh, right, ESL?" ESL means English as a second language--a class specifically for foreigners.
Everyone in this country is a foreigner. We are all from somewhere else, even if you can trace your ancestors back to the Pilgrims.
I am asked constantly, "What are you?" "Where are you from?" "Do you speak Japanese?" And my white counterparts (who are also descendants of immigrants) are not asked.
That is because for Asian Americans, it doesn't matter how many generations we are here--we're still not considered Americans. It is wretched and widespread ignorance that makes this the case. It is the kind of ignorance that put my parents behind barbed wire in 1941. It is the kind of ignorance that has no place 54 years after 120,000 Americans were put behind bars because of their race.