Trick or Treat

A few years ago, a whole family began showing up at our house. It just seemed odd to me, especially since none of them were in costume. Then it hit me. Perhaps they were hungry and realized they could get free food (albeit candy) one day a year without getting too much flack from people.

Konnichiwa and death threats

A while ago, I used to do segments on a local radio station. It was a popular show with a host who was vaguely shock jockish. We got along fine, and it was a good forum to promote the newspaper I worked for. One day, they called me at work and put me on the air live to tell them about some of the music acts coming to town that weekend. They kept me on the line as they began another segment, in which they called a bunch of establishments that were operated by Asian Americans — dry cleaners, Chinese restaurants etc. I would soon find out that the sole purpose of these calls was to make fun of the people speaking accented English.

Just because you didn’t see it, that doesn’t mean it never happened

There was a little boy sitting nervously on his bicycle as my dad talked to him. The boy had called my father a chink, and my father was calmly explaining that it wasn’t a nice thing to say, and that his parents would be disappointed to hear him say that to an adult. (Who’re we kidding? We all know that this kid probably learned to be a racist at home. But my father was giving him the benefit of the doubt.)