A Walk on the Promenade
Slooty #naked

Slooty #naked

I just filmed a video “Biking In The Village” @ Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam on #viddy http://viddy.it/MRVxt9

I just filmed a video “Boa Boa” @ Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam on #viddy http://viddy.it/MRUxp0

I just filmed a video “Frogger In Saigon” @ Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam on #viddy http://viddy.it/M1Z9nH

I just filmed a video “Cu Chi Tunnels Pt.2” @ Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam on #viddy http://viddy.it/M1Yt1I

I just filmed a video “Cu Chi tunnels” @ Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam on #viddy http://viddy.it/M1UcLD

The streets in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. #viddy #travel #scooters #traffic

"Go back to where you came from!"

You have no idea how many times this has been directed at me and/or my friends. And it still astonishes me how these ignorant fools think it’s some kind of valid insult. Now when I hear it or think of it, the original pang of pain that crept up in between those words has turned into a slight twitch of the eye; nothing more than an annoyance in a daily routine. A hiccup.

How many times have I answered? Not enough I guess. Ranging from angry cries of “I’m from LA bitch!” to silent glares of disbelief, the response is never enough to actually get them to understand the full extent of their ethnocentric, fake-patriotic stupidity that will never cease to baffle me.

What I really want to say is this:

I am American. I was born in Chinatown, Los Angeles, raised in Burbank, in a middle-class white suburban neighborhood, which is also in America. If you’re telling me to go home, to Burbank, then we can stop here. But I have a feeling you’re trying to tell me something else.

I am American educated, I have travelled to different parts of the world and lived in several places both in and out of our country. I speak a few languages well enough to get by in their respective countries, which is usually more than what the people who are on the offensive end are able to say. Yeah, I don’t look very “American” by your standards, sir (most of the times I’ve been accosted by men), but look around you.

I am America. I don’t expect you to see it, but I represent the vital multicultural aspect of America that keeps us interesting, growing, and unique. We are a country of countries and how is that not something to love and appreciate? America is evolving, and it’s straight up Darwinism; if you can’t evolve with the changing world around you, you will eventually die off along with your shitty ideals and one-track ways. And I can’t wait for the day when people as close minded and dim witted as you taper off of America’s radar. Either that, or grow and learn- evolve with the times and give me my space to be American.

This is my patriotism and you can’t take that away from me. I stand for my country and I stand for my people. If you think I should go back to where I came from, well I’m already here- and I’m here to stay and protect my right to be noticed and to be American.

I wish a response like this would stumble out of my mouth rather than the more profane and less productive kind of responses I usually dump out, but any response is better than no response. To help these fools evolve we have to tell them what’s up, otherwise who will? We need to speak for ourselves when given the opportunity and not wait for someone with power to do it for us first.

As difficult as the struggle is, it is an important and beautiful one that all Americans should be fighting for. In order for our kids and their kids to become a stronger society with curious minds and full hearts, we should, no- we need to instill a sense of an American bond no matter where our parents may be from.

It’s 2012 and still, a young black boy wearing a hoodie is shot in cold blood without an arrest. Evolution is painstakingly slow and at times it seems like we often regress. I don’t want to have to tell my children to be wary of their looks. I want to tell society to stop looking at my kids the wrong way. I don’t want to tell my kids to be careful what they wear. I want to tell the aggressors to open their minds and think critically.

Unfortunately, we hold the heavy end of the burden. I can’t tell society how to view my kids, but I can tell my kids that they’ll be discriminated against and empower them with the right tools to handle the situation. But it pains me to think that I’m passing that baggage onto my children.

My goal is to create a better America for my kids (who will undoubtedly be Asian-looking in one way or another), free from the same idiotic remarks that littered my life growing up. An America for Hyphens to get the respect and dignity they deserve and the patriotism they are allowed. One where the response to someone yelling,”Go back where you came from!” is “I am home.” and there would be nothing to question that beautiful logic.

Things to worry about:

Worry about courage
Worry about Cleanliness
Worry about efficiency
Worry about horsemanship
Worry about…

Things not to worry about:

Don’t worry about popular opinion
Don’t worry about dolls
Don’t worry about the past
Don’t worry about the future
Don’t worry about growing up
Don’t worry about anybody getting ahead of you
Don’t worry about triumph
Don’t worry about failure unless it comes through your own fault
Don’t worry about mosquitoes
Don’t worry about flies
Don’t worry about insects in general
Don’t worry about parents
Don’t worry about boys
Don’t worry about disappointments
Don’t worry about pleasures
Don’t worry about satisfactions

Things to think about:

What am I really aiming at?
How good am I really in comparison to my contemporaries in regard to:

(a) Scholarship
(b) Do I really understand about people and am I able to get along with them?
(c) Am I trying to make my body a useful instrument or am I neglecting it?

With dearest love,
Daddy

P.S. My come-back to your calling me Pappy is christening you by the word Egg, which implies that you belong to a very rudimentary state of life and that I could break you up and crack you open at my will and I think it would be a word that would hang on if I ever told it to your contemporaries. “Egg Fitzgerald.” How would you like that to go through life with — “Eggie Fitzgerald” or “Bad Egg Fitzgerald” or any form that might occur to fertile minds? Try it once more and I swear to God I will hang it on you and it will be up to you to shake it off. Why borrow trouble? Love anyhow.

In a 1933 letter to his 11-year-old daughter Scottie, F. Scott Fitzgerald produced this poignant and wise list of things to worry, not worry, and think about – the best father’s advice since John Steinbeck’s letter to his son on falling in love and this beautiful letter to 16-year-old Jackson Pollock by his dad.

From F. Scott Fitzgerald: A Life in Letters.

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Remember who you are, Simba

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